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July 4th: More than Flags and Fireworks

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July 05, 2011 04:50 pm


Less than 35 percent of the nation’s fourth-graders knew the purpose of the Declaration of Independence, according to recent history results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

In his latest video, Alliance President Bob Wise says it’s wonderful that students get excited about the flags and fireworks that accompany Independence Day celebrations, but he adds that the nation needs to do a much better job of helping the nation’s students understand why the 4th of July is such an important day in the nation’s history.

“Let’s know who we are and how we became a democracy,” Wise says. “Then let’s make sure our students know how our democracy works. We owe that to our founders who gave us our democracy, the soldiers and veterans who defend it, and our educators who sustain it.”

Wise also makes a plug for the webinar the Alliance is hosting on Wednesday, July 6, on the results of the Nation’s Report Card in history and civics.

The webinar will feature Dr. Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, Kelly Kovacic, California’s 2010 Teacher of the Year and an Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. history and AP U.S. government teacher at the Preuss School, a public charter school in San Diego, Dr. Cornelia Orr, executive director of NAGB, and Gov. Wise. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for speakers to address questions submitted by viewers across the country.

Register for the webinar and ask questions at


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