Veterans push for more history

March 12th, 2010    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Community

“We are failing, miserably, when it comes to educating our young people about history,” said Clermont County Veterans’ Services Director Dan Bare.  He is rallying veterans organizations statewide to work together to pressure the Ohio Department of Education to rework history standards, before approving new education standards, possibly in June.

“If we don’t teach children history, how can we expect them to be good citizens?  How can we expect them to be proud of the accomplishments of their country?” said Bare.

Local historian, attorney, and UC Clermont history teacher Gary Knepp agreed.

"When it comes to history and social studies classes, it seems they are becoming a wasteland. Many of my students tell me they hate the subjects; I believe it is because of the way they were taught," he said. "We need to recognize local history and those in our community who have served; it will make conflicts in foreign lands something young people can more easily understand. We, as a people, need to know our history to know our place in the world."

At a recent meeting of educators and veterans in Batavia, the question was asked, what grade should be given when it comes to teaching history and social studies?

Educators said a B, while veterans responded the grade should be a C or even a D.

"This is not math versus history," added Bare. "This is about a leveling of the playing field. The analogy is given that teachers have a 5-gallon bucket to fill each day; maybe it should be filled differently, or the bucket should be bigger."

Bare has been contacted by a number of veterans groups and citizens statewide that agree history standards need to be rewritten.

"Our teachers do a great job, but the state needs to better stress the importance of history and social studies in the educational standards. We are asking that these classes be on the same level of importance as math and science."

In the near future, Bare plans to meet with a group of veterans from across the state to discuss the issue and how to encourage the Ohio Department of Education to rework the history standards for schools.

"We are contacting our lawmakers and I invite any citizen to contact me to discuss how they can help us spread the word."

Bare can be reached at (513) 732-7363.
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