he greatest failure in education in this country is in the teaching of American history. There is no emphasis on the subject in high schools or in colleges and universities.

There is too much emphasis on science and math, such as STEM education.

Is a reason this country is in such a mess, with some of our senators and representatives ill-prepared for public service, lacking a fundamental appreciation of our republic and its heritage, because they haven’t a strong knowledge of American history?

With more members of Congress promoting socialism, perhaps they need a course or two in the failures of socialism in other countries.

There have been numerous polls and surveys that attest to the lack of knowledge about American history among the people of this country.

survey of 41,000 Americans conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation reveals why a greater emphasis on learning American history is important, really essential, to the country. The Foundation found that in the highest-performing state in the survey, only 53 percent of the people were able to earn a passing grade for U.S. history. People in every other state failed; in the lowest-performing state, only 27 percent were able to pass.

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, people in Vermont were the only ones able to pass the multiple-choice test. Only 27 percent of those under the age of 45 nationally were able to demonstrate a basic understanding of American history. Nationally, only four in 10 Americans passed the exam.

he Foundation president, Arthur Levine, said studies have shown for a century Americans don’t possess the history knowledge to be informed and engaged citizens.

The survey found that only 15 percent of American adults could correctly say the year the U.S. Constitution was written and only 25 percent knew how many Amendments there are to the U.S. Constitution. Also, 25 percent did not know that freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and 57 percent did not know that Woodrow Wilson was the commander in chief during World War I.

A few years ago, when serving on the U.S. Military Academies applicant interview committee for this congressional district, a female senior from a Franklin County high school didn’t know who won World War II, and didn’t know which countries composed the Allied Forces. The applicants each year are honor students, civic and religious volunteers, athletes, leaders in their schools, but don’t know their American history. Each year in interviewing applicants for more than 20 years, it was a very disturbing experience.

The top four states following Vermont in the test were Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Virginia. The five lowest-performing states were Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisiana.

Missourians in the test had 61 percent in the failure column and only 3 percent in the grade A column.