The End of History

Originally I had planned on making a great post about another Halloween special, but I really can’t ignore this article I found yesterday on Huffington Post.

Common Core and the End of History

The article addresses a new amendment where the New York City Regents,

voted unanimously that students did not have to pass both United States and Global History exams in order to graduate from high school

Instead,

The Global History exam will also be modified so that students will only be tested on events after 1750

and,

Students will be able to substitute a tech sequence and local test for one of the history exams, however the Regents did not present, design, or even describe what the tech alternative will look like.

Um….is it just me, or does this sound like a VERY bad idea? I mean we’ve all heard the famous saying “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it,” correct? Also, no offense regents, but you DO know your ACTUAL NAME is a term coined in  the 14th century (pre-1750) that refers to a position held by ancient Egyptians.

REGENT: a person who exercises the ruling power in a kingdom during the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign.

Has the world changed SO much that now we don’t even need to teach the students how we as humans created a civilized world in the first place? Doesn’t not teaching ancient civilizations make us, well, uncivilized?!

As a history teacher, and technology coordinator this really rubs me toe wrong way. Through my 6th level social studies class we are constantly making connections between past events, (Assyrian armies, Egyptian equality, Religious wars,) and today’s current events. It’s a fairly steady amount of “HEY! Didn’t that same thing happen to so and so,” and “Oh they’re going to get it. They should have learned from  the past.” These are student comments, not my own, as true as they are.

If we are determined not to educate students on the history of their world; the struggles of our ancestors, the mysteries of their accomplishments, and the power of their discoveries and commitment to life, we’re teaching students that whatever they have comes easily. That struggle and vigilance is a thing of the past. That the world is just a spinning ball of earth and rock and the humans on it are obviously the most important in history because clearly if other humans were important they would learn about them!

Are we that egotistical and narcissistic that we can truly believe our current life is more important than the thousands of millions of people who helped build our civilizations and shaped our world?! 

Apparently in New York

social studies is no longer taught in the elementary school grades

Because it’s not on the standardized tests.  And this is why we’ve reached the End of History, and apparently also the end of common sense.

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

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