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Press Release


June 15, 2011


John See


Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On the NAEP U.S. History Results


WASHINGTON—An informed, active citizenry and an educated workforce are essential pillars of a healthy democracy. So, it is encouraging that today's students know more about United States history than students did in the mid-1990s, according to the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

However, the NAEP results also show that, while there have been some improvements—particularly for low-income students in the early grades—high school students' achievement is flat, and African-American, Hispanic and low-income students still trail white students and more affluent students. We can improve these results by strengthening the U.S. history curriculum, by including far more opportunities for project-based learning and engagement, and by better supporting the teachers and schools that serve poor and minority students.


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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.