This Independence Day, while you're busy flipping the burgers and watching the fireworks, you might feel a bit patriotic and proud of our nation's history. But if you're anything like today's students, you don't know much at all about U.S. history.

Our high school kids are ignorant about U.S. history. But strong majorities of parents, history and social studies teachers, and legislators in Massachusetts approve restoring passage of a U.S. history MCAS test as a high school graduation requirement, according to a new poll commissioned by the Pioneer Institute.

David Paleologos, (no relation) president of DAPA Research, who conducted the poll said, "Support for the U.S. history graduation requirement has remained strong despite the anti-testing backlash we've seen in recent years."

Parents especially were the most supportive of restoring the U.S. history graduation. Massachusetts is one of only nine states that doesn't have a history and civics requirement, in spite of the majority of teachers, legislators and parents agreeing that our state high schools should focus more on educating students in U.S. history.

U.S. history is critical to students learning how to become better citizens and understanding how the country's political and cultural systems work. Students need to not only recognize important American figures and events, but also understand why these were important to the development of the country.

I say reinstate the U.S. history MCAS test as a high school graduation requirement! Understanding and appreciating history will make for a better future.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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