Study: Educators not teaching about 9/11 in U.S. schools


Publisher’s note: Lake Tahoe News wanted to do a story for its 9/11 series about how K-12 educators in the Lake Tahoe Basin-Truckee area address the event in the classroom. The reporter was thwarted in his efforts. One assistant principal in Truckee said, “Teachers may or may not be open to talking to local media based on the topic, and Is the topic something that may be damaging to our school or district?” Lake Tahoe News regrets at this time not being able to tell you what local children are learning about 9/11.

By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

Most states do not include in their social studies/history standards a direct mention of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new study, and only four states actually name Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda.

An earlier stage of the study had found that many of the best-selling history and civics textbooks used in schools have “a startling lack of detail about what actually happened” on Sept. 11.

Twenty states plus the District of Columbia mention the terrorist attacks but most don’t require that students learn more than a few key facts devoid of context, it says. Of those that don’t directly mention Sept. 11, 14 states include some reference to terrorism or another key term related to the war on terror. And 14 states don’t include any reference to 9/11, the war on terror or terrorism.

“For the most part, students are not directed to examine the roots and causes of terrorism, but instead are asked to learn about the impact of these attacks, primarily on the United States,” a summary of the report says.

The study was conducted by Professors Jeremy Stoddard from the College of William & Mary and Diana Hess at the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Spencer Foundation. It was released by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tisch College at Tufts University.

It was released just days before the 10th anniversary of the attacks and contributes to a debate about how, when and what children should be taught in school about the event.

For example, a separate report just issued by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute argues that some 9/11 lessons being taught to children are missing the point of the event, giving too little information about the history and instead discussing related issues.

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Comments (22)
  1. dogwoman says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    Today in London, LONDON, ENGLAND, a Muslim group held a 911 protest and burned an American flag while giving big bold speeches against America. In LONDON.
    Damn cowards. Come HERE on this day and try that, ya jackwagons. See what happens. Cowards.
    This is not over.

  2. the conservation robot says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    A *radical muslim group.

  3. lou pierini says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    I did not see radical mentioned in the post by Dog.

  4. the conservation robot says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    ‘Hi I judge a group of billions by the actions of less than 100, I am a moron’

  5. Gen5020 says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    The effort at education through omission has been wildly successful. The Public school system as a whole, does not want students to understand the truth of what happened and the causes behind it. This can be seen in the article by Mr. Ward in todays paper. Mr. Ward’s opinions are valid and should be respected. I found this statement interesting: “The “us versus them” mentality the nation’s leader adopted divided what was once a unified generation”. This is a valid opinion but not factually correct. This skewed view comes from a lack of thorough understanding which is precisely why schools refuse to educate their students.

  6. dogwoman says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    Depends on your definition of “radical” Muslim, now doesn’t it?
    Pick your battles carefully.

  7. the conservation robot says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    Please explain how the cleric who lead this small rally is not a radical. Of all of the billions of muslims in the world, why did only 100 do something like this?

  8. dogwoman says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    How many did it take to bring down the Twin Towers?

  9. dogwoman says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    This isn’t about individuals. Sure, there are some good people out there who Muslims. But Mohammed’s directives to his people was to kill, by subterfuge if necessary, anyone who isn’t Muslim. I do not trust Islam. I will not bow to your political correctness.

  10. dogwoman says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    When “moderate” Muslims start to condemn this kind of behavior from their Muslim bretheren, then maybe I will reconsider my position. But probably not. As I said, they are not averse to using subterfuge.

  11. the conservation robot says - Posted: September 11, 2011

    Wow… you didn’t even read the new reports about the rally, and how there was a counter rally by moderate muslim groups.
    I assume you are completely misinformed on Islam as well and have never read anything by people who were influential in its early development.
    Your belief that Islam is a religion of violence and ill will, is simply wrong. Someone told you it was, you believed them, and never bothered to check it out yourself.
    Do you know how many Muslims we, the great Christian nation of the United States, killed today? Or last year? Or in the decades before 9/11?

    News flash… your team murders more innocent people.

  12. dogwoman says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    You know what they way about the word “assume”, Bongo. You don’t know nearly as much as you think you do.

    Perry: again, how many did it take to bring down the WTC Towers? Have you noticed that every country with a strong Muslim presence has serious problems with so called “radicals”? I do not consider them radical. I consider them fundamentalists of their faith.

  13. local girl says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    And does the Westboro Baptist Church represent all Christians and all Americans? They burn the American flag also. Maybe dogwoman will be there with them when they protest at the funerals of the Nevada National Guardsmen.

  14. dogwoman says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    Please. I’ve spoken out against those people before. So do other Christians. Those people do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. You are just being argumentative with no basis in reality.

  15. orale says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that dogwoman was a troll.

  16. the conservation robot says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    Oh! and the dogwoman plays the ‘i fell for blatant propaganda’ card.
    And she calls it… ‘educational’
    Education involves thinking and asking questions. What you watched was propaganda, which preys on fear, makes you think you are asking questions, and builds on your own preexisting ignorance.

    This is probably the most dangerous thing a group of ignorant people can do. Decide that a group of other people are evil and are a threat.
    Your ignorance is dangerous.
    So have you READ anything? Anything like… a historical document about founding of Islam and the teachings of the early thinkers?
    Or did you just watch an islamophobic propaganda film and decide that that was enough learning for the rest of your life on that subject.

    Convince someone the earth is only a few thousands years old and imagine what other kinds of ridiculous ideas you can put in their head

  17. dogwoman says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    You’re big on assuming, Bongo. You’re doing it again.
    Just curious, did you actually WATCH the video and hear what the people, who WERE Muslims, were saying? Or did you watch 5 minutes of it and decide it didn’t fit your world view and shut it off? Where were they wrong about what they said? Scripture was shown, background given. Did they lie?
    Actually, at this point, I don’t care what you think. Anyone who would defend Islam on the 10th anniversary of one of the most deadly attacks by Muslims on innocent citizens in America is either just trying to make trouble, or is just stone unworthy of this country. Just my opinion.

  18. local girl says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    I watched the people from the Westboro Baptist Chruch on tv. They showed scripture also and background was given.

  19. dogwoman says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    Old Testament scripture. Not Jesus Christ’s teachings.

  20. snoheather says - Posted: September 12, 2011

    Dogwoman- In your opinion anyone who defends Islam is un-American? Really?!? This country is not one religion, even though from your comments you obviously feel it is. I think all religion is a bunch of bull and that there are radicals in all of the cults man has made up. To label a large population of the world as radical, terrorist, or any of the other many disparaging terms is just uncomprehendable. There have been many people who have done bad things in the name of their “God”, not just in the Muslim religion. This does not make me any less American, or “stone unworthy of this country”, than you.
    I feel, in your own words, “You are just being argumentative with no basis in reality.”