Foreword by Chester E. Finn Jr. and Kathleen Porter-Magee

Presidents’ Day 2011 has come and gone, but George Washington would be dismayed by the findings of this new study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Reviewers evaluated state standards for U.S. history in grades K-12. What they found is discouraging: Twenty-eight states—a majority—deserve D or F grades for their academic standards in this key subject. The average grade across all states is a dismal D. Among the few bright spots, South Carolina earns a straight A for its standards and six other jurisdictions—Alabama, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia—garner A-minuses. (The National Assessment's "framework" for U.S. history also fares well.) Read on to learn how your state scored.


Jeremy A. Stern(PhD in history, Princeton University, 2010) is an independent scholar and education consultant. He is the author of several scholarly papers and articles including “Jane Franklin Mecom: A Boston Woman in Revolutionary Times” (Early American Studies, Spring 2006), a study of the tumultuous life and evolving political engagement of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister. He also…

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Sheldon M. Stern (PhD in history, Harvard University, 1970) taught U.S. history and African American history at the college level for more than decade. From 1977 through 1999 he was a historian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, where he developed a special interest in teacher preparation and secondary-school history education. In 1992, he launched the American History Project for High School Students…

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