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Good News for History Teachers! « Diane Ravitch's blog

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Reading and math are tested. History is not tested. To some administrators, that means that history doesn't matter because it doesn't count. They pour scarce resources into the only subjects that count: reading and math.

Some history teachers react by demanding history tests. They figure that if history is tested, it will gain stature. You can see the headlines now: 47% don't know this, 24% don't know that.

Others worry that history will be dumbed down by the bubble tests that put a premium on simple answers with no ambiguity.

It is a dilemma: how to stay alive without sacrificing the soul of the study, the thinking and debating and uncertainty that are inherent in history. Consider a field that tries to understand events and relies on historians who likely were not alive when they happened or on unreliable eyewitness accounts.

History is one of those subjects where even old textbooks are useful.

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