Learning American history has become obsolete in the curriculum of too many public schools.  When history IS taught, it is fraught with interpretations of history and statements regarding the MEANING of what happened. 

School children, especially in elementary school, just need to be learning facts.

I copied off a Social Studies curriculum from another Texas school district that was on the Internet.  (Since most school districts in Texas are doing the exact same things on the same days, I figured this curriculum was probably pretty close to what students in Katy must endure.)

In an Elementary Social Studies Scope and Sequence, the kindergarteners through the fifth graders are taught "skills" and these "skills" are "embedded into the content and should be taught throughout the entire school year."  Embedding skills into content is a useful talent, and one that we should all acquire!

The other word that struck me was systems.  Everything has become a "system."  The Civil War is a "system of change."  "Airplanes are systems, our government is a system, the "woodland forest" is an ecosystem.  The "World of Work" is a system, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a system, and Life in the Texas Chihuahuan Desert is a system.  How We Live is a system and Where We Live is a system.

Fifth graders are taught about "science, technology, and big business."  Does anyone else find it odd that fifth graders are being coached in matters relating to "big business"?  Shouldn't a fifth grader be more concerned with the location of the capital of Texas?

In the middle of studying "space exploration" where such topics as the historical timeline of the space program is a first priority, the second priority is "government funding and service"!  Do fifth graders comprehend the nuances of funding the space program? Is there a qualified teacher who would know how to teach that? What would she say about a President who cuts funding to NASA, one of American's most important scientific and technological endeavors?  I'm guessing, not much!

After studying the astronauts and astronomers, they throw in "characteristics of the sun that provides [sic] energy for the water cycle."

In an effort to be innovative and "new" and "fresh," educrats have dismembered and dismantled history so that it can accompany and elevate social causes in a helter-skelter manner that would and does make it impossible for any student to have a coherent picture of what happened in the past.  That messed up curriculum is by design.  It is orchestrated to confuse and belittle our past. It's very short-sighted, ignorant, and inexcusable that such an effort has been allowed to go unchallenged. I always enjoyed watching Jay Leno on the streets of LA making fun of the dummies who hadn't a clue about American history! Unfortunately those dummies are too typical of public school graduates these days.

History is a wonderful thing.  If we don't know our own history and that of the rest of the world, we have no idea what our place is in the world.  We have no frame of reference to guide us in the present and the future.  Schools districts are all about the future, but if they don't understand the true past (and not some idealized version of it), then the future will be dismal.  We learn from the past.  That is a truism that is irrefutable.

There also seems to be a tendency to dwell upon the more recent past.  History is about the past, but only time puts events in perspective, so spending most of a student's time on the recent past is unwise.  That recent history has not settled in, so to speak, and has not been studied enough to know its relative importance in the scheme of historical matters.  What might seem important five years after it happened, may have no importance at all in fifty years.  Perspective is one of those abstract talents that comes with acquiring knowledge.  Precious little knowledge is being acquired by current students in this "system"!

1.  Perhaps Your Kids Should Skip AP American History

2.   Curriculum for the New AP History Course

3.  Letter from David Coleman Denying Liberal Bias in AP History Course

4.  Find Out Who Is Behind the Common Core Curriculum

5.  Twenty-nine Biased Statements from the New AP History Redesign

6.  How the College Board Politicized U S History  by Stanley Kurtz

7.  Here's What a Parent Can Do to Stop Dumbed Down American History

8.  Why the College Board Demoted the Founders   by Stanley Kurtz

9.  SBOE Member Thomas Ratliff Whines Again

10.  How to Stop The AP History Course Fiasco:  School Board Can Eliminate Extra Grade Points!

11.  Oklahoma Legislator Tries to Stop AP History