Learning, but not quite enough

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Dan Caccavale

The United States of America is built upon a very specific and detailed political system. We all remember learning about the three branches of government and what do in high school. But was that really enough? To graduate from high school every student must have one semester of government and a full year of American history, essentially attempting to cram more than two hundred years of history and politics into a year and a half. This is a very difficult task.

In a brief survey of Post students the answer became clear that that year and a half is not enough time. Not one student could name five signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and most could not name the year that the Constitution was signed. These are very basic facts that most people should know about their own country. Well what about colleges? Don’t they offer something to help teach students more about their country? Most do, including C.W. Post, but they are not mandatory.

And even if you do decided to take one of these courses, it’s still just a semester long which is not enough time to learn the in depth facts. If someone really wanted to learn about these facts they could take the in depth courses as electives, that is if they have time and they are being offered. So what now? How do we get Americans to learn about their country? Simple, make it more part of their education by making more history and government classes mandatory in high schools and by offering more elective classes in colleges.

If a student takes two years of American History in high school and a full year of government, that’s twice the information teachers can teach them. With a slight tweak in the requirements people are already learning double. And if more colleges made history and political science mandatory, students would be able to learn more in just two semesters. Making this possible is just as easy as signing a petition or sending an e-mail to a local state representative. So help make the change and help to educate students on their own country.

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