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S.Con.Res. 129 (enr) [Enrolled bill] ...

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  2d Session
S. CON. RES. 129

Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the importance and value of 
                  education in United States history.



                             June 30, 2000

Mr. Lieberman (for himself, Mr. Gorton, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Mr. 
        Cleland, Mr. Byrd, Mr. Conrad, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Grams) 
        submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was 


                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the importance and value of 
                  education in United States history.

Whereas basic knowledge of United States history is essential to full and 
        informed participation in civic life and to the larger vibrancy of the 
        American experiment in self-government;
Whereas basic knowledge of the past serves as a civic glue, binding together a 
        diverse people into a single Nation with a common purpose;
Whereas citizens who lack knowledge of United States history will also lack an 
        understanding and appreciation of the democratic principles that define 
        and sustain the Nation as a free people, such as liberty, justice, 
        tolerance, government by the consent of the governed, and equality under 
        the law;
Whereas a recent Roper survey done for the American Council of Trustees and 
        Alumni reveals that the next generation of American leaders and citizens 
        is in danger of losing America's civic memory;
Whereas the Roper survey found that 81 percent of seniors at elite colleges and 
        universities could not answer basic high school level questions 
        concerning United States history, that scarcely more than half knew 
        general information about American democracy and the Constitution, and 
        that only 22 percent could identify the source of the most famous line 
        of the Gettysburg Address;
Whereas many of the Nation's colleges and universities no longer require United 
        States history as a prerequisite to graduation, including 100 percent of 
        the top institutions of higher education;
Whereas 78 percent of the Nation's top colleges and universities no longer 
        require the study of any form of history;
Whereas America's colleges and universities are leading bellwethers of national 
        priorities and values, setting standards for the whole of the United 
        States' education system and sending signals to students, teachers, 
        parents, and public schools about what every educated citizen in a 
        democracy must know;
Whereas many of America's most distinguished historians and intellectuals have 
        expressed alarm about the growing historical illiteracy of college and 
        university graduates and the consequences for the Nation; and
Whereas the distinguished historians and intellectuals fear that without a 
        common civic memory and a common understanding of the remarkable 
        individuals, events, and ideals that have shaped the Nation, people in 
        the United States risk losing much of what it means to be an American, 
        as well as the ability to fulfill the fundamental responsibilities of 
        citizens in a democracy: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), 
That it is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the historical illiteracy of America's college and 
        university graduates is a serious problem that should be 
        addressed by the Nation's higher education community;
            (2) boards of trustees and administrators at institutions 
        of higher education in the United States should review their 
        curricula and add requirements in United States history;
            (3) State officials responsible for higher education should 
        review public college and university curricula in their States 
        and promote requirements in United States history;
            (4) parents should encourage their children to select 
        institutions of higher education with substantial history 
        requirements and students should take courses in United States 
        history whether required or not; and
            (5) history teachers and educators at all levels should 
        redouble their efforts to bolster the knowledge of United 
        States history among students of all ages and to restore the 
        vitality of America's civic memory.

Pages: 1

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