From the Tom Woods Letter:
A few weeks ago I reported on recent math and reading scores among American eighth graders, and the news wasn’t good.
The U.S. history scores released this year aren’t good, either, it turns out. Just 13 percent of eighth graders were found to be proficient in the subject.
If the point of the government’s education system is to produce informed adults who can participate meaningfully in the public debate on contentious subjects, it’s not exactly a smashing success.
If it’s to make them into ignoramuses who blindly do as they’re told, it’s working as planned.
Because the ignorance doesn’t get better over time.
In his provocatively titled book The Case Against Education (Princeton University Press, 2018), Bryan Caplan points out some truly horrifying results from a basic civics test given to American adults.
Below I’ll share with you a few of the questions that were asked, along with the possible answers (the correct answer is in bold). Then I’ll share two figures: the percentage who got the correct answer, and the percentage who really knew the answer (in other words, correcting to account for people who got the question right simply by guessing).
(1) Which of the following is not protected by the Bill of Rights?
Freedom of speech
Trial by jury
The right to bear arms
The right to vote
39% got the correct answer; 21% really knew the answer
(2) Which of the following events came before the Declaration of Independence?
Foundation of Jamestown, Virginia
The Civil War
The Emancipation Proclamation
The War of 1812
(3) The Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits
Prayer in public school
Discrimination based on race, sex, or religion
The ownership of guns by private individuals
Establishing an official religion for the United States
The president from vetoing a line item in a spending bill
The questions continue, but you get the idea.
The vast majority of American adults are not even entitled to an opinion on major issues in American life.
But even the small minority of students, and Americans at large, who do know the names and dates and the rough order of important events, are crippled by another factor: the establishment bias of the history they learn.
The establishment version of U.S. history is fundamentally wrong in every particular. Beginning with the 20th century alone, it’s wrong in its portrayal and evaluation of every president from Theodore Roosevelt on down.
Same goes for the wars, the economic history, the analysis of all the major Supreme Court cases, you name it. Distorted, biased, and wrong all the way through.
Hence the significance of the new Tuttle Twins book for young readers. It tells the story of a crucial period in U.S. history the way it should be told, and complete with relatable stories showing how the themes of U.S. history affect young people’s lives today, as well as warnings about the way governments continue to mislead them to this day.
There is no other book like it for young readers. Nothing comes close.
I’m particularly pleased because I know the author, Connor Boyack, very well: he was my tech guy for years, and got my Liberty Classroom site set up for me. He has now gone on to do the truly important things he was put on this Earth to do.
This is what young minds should be exposed to: