Sometimes I think that conservatives go too far in their critiques of history-textbook PC. High school history classes should place a greater emphasis on American diversity and the minority experience than they did in, say, 1947, and there's no reason that a student shouldn't learn about Andrew Jackson and Tecumseh, Thomas Edison and Carrie Nation, George Washington and George Washington Carver, and so on down the line.
But then you encounter something like this poll, in which high schoolers were asked to name the ten most famous Americans in history (excluding Presidents and First Ladies), and produced - well, Rod Dreher has the details. Suffice to say that Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Oprah are perhaps slightly higher than they ought to be.
Naturally, the survey's authors fret that the list may reflect misplaced priorities among educators:
The study acknowledges that the emphasis on African-American figures by the schools leaves behind not only 18th- and 19th-century figures but others as well, such as Hispanic icon Cesar Chavez, Native American heroes such as Pocahontas and Sacagawea and labor leaders such as Samuel Gompers and Eugene V. Debs.
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