American 17-year-olds shockingly don’t score well in history and that finding got very little play in media this week, finds Grumpy Editor.
It indicates that teenagers should spend more time watching the History Channel instead of MTV, E! and VH1 cable channels.
Among the few publications that reported the survey by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research were the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Las Vegas Sun.
“Still at Risk: What Students Don’t Know, Even Now,” by Frederick M. Hess, found “too many young Americans do not possess the kind of basic knowledge they need. When asked fundamental questions about U.S. history and culture, they score a D and exhibit stunning knowledge gaps.”
Among the findings:
· Almost 20 percent of 1,200 respondents to a national telephone survey did not know who the enemy was in World War II.
· Nearly 25 percent of the teens could not identify Adolf Hitler.
· Fewer than half could place the Civil War in the correct century.
· Twenty-six percent didn’t know Columbus set sail for the New World before 1750.
· A third did not know the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and religion.
But teenagers are not alone in fuzzy history. Grumpy Editor notes that NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno often puts Leno as “man on the street” asking passing adults questions, such as “who is the U.S. vice president” and getting wrong answers or just plain stares.
Grumpy Editor’s end-of-week leftover notes:
This week was heavy in announced print job cuts with about 100 being lopped at Time Inc.; 68 by Philadelphia Newspapers, which publishes the Philadelphia Inquirer (third oldest surviving U.S. daily newspaper) and Philadelphia Daily News; about 120 throughout Newsday, Long Island, with at least 25 of those reductions in the newsroom on top of 13 vacant positions that have gone unfilled; Boston Globe announced buyouts to 60 employees while sister paper, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, targeted 20; and 22 editorial staffers get the sad word today at the Daily News, Los Angeles, which will see the newsroom payroll drop to an even 100… Editor John Solomon, after one month at the helm of the Washington Times, issues new style terms, including illegal immigrants rather than illegal aliens while quotation marks come off gay marriage…About 75 percent of daily newspapers on average now run one page or less of business news and only one in eight dailies runs a stand-alone section, finds Arizona State University’s National Center for Business Journalism.