Several years ago I wrote how unfortunately true it is that one doesn’t need to know U.S. history to be successful in life. After reviewing academic results and listening to the creed of educated politicians, cable pundits, and disagreement by some Independence school teachers, I stand corrected and I further agree with comedian Bill Maher that the U.S. is intellectually challenged through no fault of teachers.

Several years ago I wrote how unfortunately true it is that one doesn’t need to know U.S. history to be successful in life. After reviewing academic results and listening to the creed of educated politicians, cable pundits, and disagreement by some Independence school teachers, I stand corrected and I further agree with comedian Bill Maher that the U.S. is intellectually challenged through no fault of teachers.

I could fill up this entire page with my defense, but a few paragraphs will suffice.

The average IQ is between 95 and 100. The latest study of 113 countries from a British psychologist, a Finish political scientist and a Dutch psychologist revealed that the United States is tied for ninth with eight other countries with a score of 98. Singapore led all nations with a score of 108 followed by South Korea 106, Japan 105 and Italy 102.

A 2009 study of 15-year-olds’ student performances had us at an embarrassing 33rd (South Korea No. 1) in reading, 17th in math (Finland No. 1) and 22nd in science (Finland No. 1).

Newsweek recently gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. citizenship test, which 38 percent failed. Seventy-three percent didn’t know why we fought the Cold War and 60 out of 1,000 couldn’t even circle Independence Day with the calendar in front of them.

We do differ from government systems in Europe and other countries due to our separate system of state educational regulations and the current political climate. Case in point: The Texas State Board of Education, comprised of majority conservative religious members, adopted a social studies and history curriculum that dilutes or distorts the facts of the teaching of the civil rights movement, religious freedoms and America’s relationship with the U.N., to name a few.

One only needs to listen to confused presidential hopeful Minnesota Congresswomen Michelle Bachmann telling a New Hampshire conservative audience (twice) that “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.” Of course that’s news to the citizens of Massachusetts, where that actually occurred.

Twenty-five years ago, the United States was first in the world among industrialized nations with high school and college degrees. We now rank ninth and seventh respectively.

Our students need more, not less, factual history studies (sans Texas) and as Pearl Buck said of history, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”

I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence Forever.