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What Our 17-Year-Olds Know

by Frederick M. Hess - March 06, 2008

In an election season marked by persistent references to JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan, and “big brother” surveillance, it would seem axiomatic that familiarity with the stuff of history is essential. Yet, it appears that students soon to graduate high school have, at best, an uncertain grasp of key historical and literary facts. In a new study, forty percent of the nation’s 17-year-olds could not identify the proper half-century in which the First World War took place.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: March 06, 2008
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15079, Date Accessed: 6/20/2021 12:17:59 PM

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About the Author
  • Frederick Hess
    American Enterprise Institute
    E-mail Author
    FREDERICK M HESS is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Still at Risk: What Students Don’t Know, Even Now (published by Common Core in February 2008). The report is available at http://www.commoncore.org/_docs/CCreport_stillatrisk.pdf.
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