OPINION: How can our sons and daughters navigate the future without knowledge of the past?

The College Board’s Advanced Placement courses offer high school students the opportunity to study a subject in depth. So, why are they dropping more than 8,000 years from its 2019 AP World History course?

The Board claims there is just too much content– as it stands—to squeeze into a year, and many teachers agree. Conversely, there are others who object to arbitrarily “editing” history.

In fact, a New Jersey high school student has started a petition that has garnered more than 10,000 signatures. It requests Trevor Packer, the College Board senior vice president in charge of the AP program, to reverse its decision, and leave the World History course intact.

The student, Dylan Black, put it this way in his petition: “AP World History covers, as of 2018, 10,000 years of human history stretching from the Americas, to Europe, to East Asia, and everywhere else. The class is demanding on students, but is also one of the most rewarding, life changing classes I’ve ever had the privilege to take.”

It’s bad enough that too many kids today are deficient in their knowledge of history– a fact that has been proven, repeatedly. One study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report found that only 18 percent of 8th graders were proficient in U.S. History.  We should not be denying students who have a love of history the opportunity to immerse themselves in it.

We should encourage our kids to learn as much as they can about the past. How else can they grow into productive, civically minded adults without it?

Movie of the Month: On Golden Pond

Norman and Ethel Thayer spend every summer at their New England home. One year, their daughter, Chelsea, shows up, hoping to mend her frayed relationship with her aging father. Starring Henry Fonda—in his final movie role; Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda.

July 2018 Book Recommendations

Eli Wallach’s THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND ME: IN MY ANECDOTAGE; a memoir by the versatile actor of Broadway, screen–and television’s–Batman.

Erma Bombeck’s MOTHERHOOD: THE SECOND OLDEST PROFESSION; the ups and downs of parenting from the popular humorist.

Thomas Mann’s DEATH IN VENICE; the author examines life and death; love and suffering.

Erica Jong’s HOW TO SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE; after all of her literary success, what will Isadora Wing do? The follow-up to Fear of Flying.

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s COLLECTED POEMS; life and love through a lyrical lens.

 

July 2018 Book Recommendations