Anyone who encounters high school graduates from schools in America is immediately struck by their complete ignorance of American history, let alone world history. Recently, I read a biography of Senator Robert Taft, the great Republican Conservative in the thirties and forties. Taft supported a Fair Employment Practices Commission in industry, he supported Federal aid for health insurance, federal aid in housing, all of which he viewed as “Conservative”positions. How many high school students encounter the ideas of Robert Taft?How many ever learn about Republican leaders like Wendell Wilkie or Tom Dewey, both of whom opposed racial discrimination?
Let’s face some facts. The teaching of high school American history fails to confront students with important ideas. He leaves them with a distorted ideas concerning words like, “liberal,” or “Socialist,”let alone “conservative. A factor in the rise of Tea Party morons is failure on the part of high school social studies teachers to engage students with important ideas in American history.
Isn’t it about time high school social studies teachers took some responsibility for the massive political ignorance of the past twenty years in American history?