“Decisions,” Mead writes in his introduction, “must be made.”
Regrettably, most states made poor decisions.
Students aren’t asked to know anything about history; they skip immediately to the big — very big — questions, which can’t be answered without knowledge.
Alaska, for example, asks its students to understand “the forces of change and continuity that shape human history.” How are they supposed to do this? By examining the “major developments in societies, as well as changing patterns related to class, ethnicity, race, and gender.” One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
. . . Michigan, for one, asks students to “identify major decisions in the history of Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe and Latin America, analyze contemporary factors contributing to the decisions and consider alternate courses of action.” Which decisions? Analyzed how? What, exactly, is expected?
Latin America is slighted, even in some states with large Hispanic populations.
Eight states earned A grades: California, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. Geography also was a bright spot.