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Capitol Report for May 20: Why history matters, and a bad idea’s demise

alex and pat
News9 reporter Alex Cameron (left) and CapitolBeatOK/The City Sentinel publisher Patrick McGuigan give the May 20 Capitol Report. Photo provided.

In this week’s “Capitol Report” segment on News9, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, veteran journalist Patrick B. McGuigan took a deliberate break from obsessing over the state budget gridlock at the Legislature.

He praised Gov. Mary Fallin for her recent veto of Senate Bill 2, a proposal that would have abolished the state’s U.S. history test. Fallin argued that killing the state-level test, which is administered once to students during high school years, would have devalued and diminished the teaching of history. In some ways, the challenge of history instruction is nothing new in recent decades.

The CapitolBeatOK editor pointed out that noted education analyst Diane Ravitch wrote about the collapse of U.S. history studies in 1985. In 2010, a Sooner Poll found that only 58 percent of voters who attended high school in the state could pass the Citizenship Test administered to immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens.
McGuigan advocated renewed efforts to teach students about the culture, tradition and history all Americans share. In dialogue with reporter Alex Cameron on other legislative news from the Capitol Building, McGuigan said he was gratified at the collapse of an idea to identify and deport Oklahoma students who do not speak English.

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