The state requires applicants to score at least 148 on the Praxis II social studies test, which is the lowest passing score among states using that national test.
The dominance of social studies is problematic, note the Pioneer scholars, because of the widespread use of faddish practices like activity- or project-based learning that are heavily promoted by the education schools.
That mindset "often rejects the primacy of academic learning, now broadly applied to large bodies of hard knowledge including textual study of the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, and amendments."
Reversing the nation's slide toward historical illiteracy will not be easy. Heightened public awareness of the problem could help.
One means to that might entail administering to every candidate for a high-school diploma the same basic U.S. Citizenship Test of civic and historical knowledge that immigrants must pass to become citizens.
It would speak volumes if our high school seniors knew less about their nation's heritage than the newest of our fellow citizens.
Robert Holland and Don Soifer, policy analysts for the Lexington Institute, are authors of "Teaching History in Public Schools: An Analysis of State Requirements," available at www.lexingtoninstitute.org.