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The Vox Box

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Also from the New York Times…

By SAM DILLON/Fewer than half of American teenagers who were asked basic questions about history and literature during a recent telephone survey knew when the Civil War was fought, and one-quarter thought that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World sometime after 1750, not in 1492.

The results of the survey, released Tuesday, demonstrate that a significant proportion of American teenagers live in “stunning ignorance” of history and literature, according to the group that commissioned it. Known as Common Core, the organization describes itself as a new, nonpartisan research and advocacy organization that will press for more teaching of the liberal arts in American public schools.

The group argues that President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law has impoverished America’s public school curriculum by holding schools accountable for student scores on annual tests in reading and math but in no other subjects. Full article…

More…

“In the survey, 1,200 17-year-olds were reached by telephone in January and asked to answer 33 multiple choice questions about history and literature, which were read aloud to them. The questions were drawn from a test administered by the federal government in 1986.”

A quarter of you were also unable to identify Hitler as the chancellor of Germany during World War II, instead identifying him as the Kaiser or a munitions maker.

Those who conducted the survey do “not directly blame the No Child law for the dismal survey results, but argued that the law has led schools to focus too narrowly on reading and math, thereby crowding time out of the school day for history, literature and other subjects.”

QUESTION: Are your schools focusing too much on math and science and passing the standardized exams, and forgetting the arts and history?



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About this blog

In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at http://voxxiez.blogspot.com.

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