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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