Can this problem be traced back to athletic coaches teaching history because they have no skills to teach other subjects? Perhaps? Could it be that math and science have always been stressed and due to recent efforts, history will fall further behind due to STEM initiatives ("Science, Technology, Engineering and Math")? As a professor of American History and an instructor of AP United States Government and American Politics, this sad report is nothing new. Every year I meet 60 to 70 new History students who tell me they really dislike history, but can not articulate why. Each year I teach them in a conversational style. It only takes a few weeks for those same students to change their opinions about American history. How do I know this? 100% daily attendance speaks for itself. High performance on exams provide evidence of their interest. My point is not to pat myself on the back. My point is that students dislike history not because the subject is not rich and vibrant, but because the teachers running the classes, well...suck. I believe a teacher can only claim to teach when it can be shown that students actually learn. If they don't learn, get rid of the teacher!
Before this nation goes further into the abyss of ignorance of our history and government, we need to renew efforts to make the teaching of these critical subjects a priority. After all, competing in the areas of math and science, without knowing our history and our government will not move our country forward, not when knowledge of America is lost to so many Americans. I also believe the lack of knowledge of American History and Government is a legitimate threat to our national security if folks can be hoodwinked by revisionists rewriting history to benefit their political ideologies. Sorry for the rant, but I have a passion for history and government and these studies irritate me because I know they are accurate. But that does not mean I have to like it or stand for it. History does repeat itself. The sooner we learn and appreciate it, the better off we all will be.