Core Knowledge Quiz: American Symbols and Icons

by Robert Pondiscio
October 28th, 2009

On this day in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland at a ceremony in New York harbor.  This week’s Core Knowledge Quiz is about the Statue of Liberty and other American symbols.  In schools usng the Core Knowledge Sequence, children begin to recognize and become familiar with the Statue of Liberty and other national symbols starting in kindergarten.

  1. How many rays are on the Statue of Liberty’s crown and what do they symbolize? 
  2. The Statue of Liberty holds a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other with the date July 4, 1776.  What lies at the statue’s feet and why? 
  3. Benjamin Franklin described this bird as “a much more respectable bird…and a true original Native of America” and favored it over the bald eagle as America’s national symbol.  What was it? 
  4. Construction of which monument began in 1848, but was stalled for over 20 years by, among other factors, lack of funds and the Civil War? 
  5. An upstate New York businessman who sold beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 was given a nickname that evolved into a symbol for the American government.  Which symbol? 
  6. The 50 stars on the American flag stand for the 50 states.  What do the stripes stand for? 
  7. True or false: The four Presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore appear from left to right in the order in which they served as President.   
  8. On the Great Seal of the United States, what is the eagle clutching in its talons and what do they represent? 
  9. The reverse of the Great Seal, most commonly seen on the back of the one-dollar bill, shows an unfinished pyramid topped by an eye.  What is the eye called and what does it symbolize? 
  10. The bald eagle is the national bird.  The rose is the national flower.  Does the U.S. have a national tree?

  Answers below: Read the rest of this entry »

Not Either/Or…It’s AND

by Robert Pondiscio
October 28th, 2009

At Eduwonk, Andy Rotherham catches up to Russ Whitehurst’s paper, Don’t Forget Curriculum.  But he misses the boat when he writes, “I’m not sure when curriculum and reforms like choice, teacher quality, etc…became either/or.”   I’m not sure where Andy’s getting that message, but it’s not from Russ Whitehurst, who went out of his way NOT to say that.  Here’s the relevant quote from his paper:

This is not to say that curriculum reforms should be pursued instead of efforts to create more choice and competition through charters, or to reconstitute the teacher workforce towards higher levels of effectiveness, or to establish high quality, intensive, and targeted preschool programs, all of which have evidence of effectiveness. It is to say that leaving curriculum reform off the table or giving it a very small place makes no sense.

Over at the American Enterprise Institute’s blog, Charles Murray adds his voice to the curriculum choir.