City Desk

Is Our Children Learning About 9/11?

A Tufts University study finds that while the District and 20 states do discuss the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in their high school social studies curricula, they don't have much context or detail. Fourteen states don't mention the attacks at all in texts that have been updated since 2001.

While the researchers don't want states that exclude 9/11 from their texts to be considered "negligent," they praise the states that include the attacks, writing:

We do, however, recognize the power of these standards in guiding what is taught in high school social studies classrooms and as a form of "official knowledge" that becomes part of the historical narrative.

District of Columbia Public Schools' high schoolers study 9/11 in the 11th grade, and are asked to "describe America’s response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, including the intervention in Afghanistan and invasion of Iraq."

The DCPS choice of curriculum makes sense. Take the wide variety of opinion pieces posted in local and national media over the weekend. Unlike Pearl Harbor, to which the researchers compared 9/11, the lessons of the day are anything but settled. America is still examining and re-examining its feelings about the attacks and their aftermath. For the time being, standardizing those feelings into "official knowledge" seems like something that should be held off.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Jeff

    IS our children? Really?

  • Shani Hilton

    @ Jeff: Really!

  • Tony

    Please please please fix the headline. I'm assuming it's some vague and off-topic reference to GW Bush's oft-quoted, "Rarely is the question asked, 'Is our children learning?'", but it just doesn't work here and will confuse more than elucidate most readers. If it's not a Bush reference, it's just baaaad grammar.

  • Rich

    This headline is so irritating.
    You obviously misspelled "Chilrens".

  • Babatu Y Olubayo

    Is it noe wunda dat iowa chillren kant reed!

  • TJ

    You all have about 12 hours of folks complaining about the headline, and it's STILL not fixed? Come on, WCP. I know you can do better than that.

  • Shani Hilton

    @ TJ -- as I linked upthread, the post title is a reference to a Bushism. If people don't like it or don't get it, that's something to consider, but it isn't actually incorrect and doesn't need to be 'fixed.'

  • Mike Madden

    @TJ -- It's not going to be "fixed," as that would kill the joke.

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  • Typical DC BS

    How about commenting on our current joke of a President?