Evalina Lock, Grade 9, Staff Writer
What makes the High School of American Studies unique in comparison to other schools in the New York City area is the school’s dedication to the study of history. A common question that arises is whether or not this results in students having a higher level of general knowledge of current events versus that of students from other schools.
To solve this tricky question, I interviewed four to six freshmen from different schools on their knowledge of current events. Using questions from NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” podcast, as well as Z100’s “Can you beat Karen?” section in their daily morning report on the radio, a seven question quiz was comprised to test students. Here are the results:
HSAS Students: 4/7
Private School Students: 3/7
Other Public School Students: 3/7
The average score for all three school categories is pretty much constant. The scores are not very high at all, meaning that students are not overwhelmingly knowledgeable in current events. Although a few students explained that they listen to the news often, most said that they mainly ignore it. “If the news is on I will listen to it, but I do not go out of my way to keep up with current events,” explained a freshman at HSAS.
A U.S. history teacher at HSAS explained that students at the school make an effort to engage in current events: “I do see a reliable arc at our school for the past 20 years of our students engaging in the world and the events beyond their own lives.”
Most teenagers in New York do not stay informed, because for the most part, the news does not change any aspect of their daily life. “It is hard to pay attention to the news a lot of the time, because it is not directly affecting me,” explained Stella Cereola, a student at Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy.
However, the news will eventually affect students. Being informed about current events can be extremely beneficial, if not necessary. In a few years, when students reach the age where they can vote and begin getting jobs, current events knowledge will be crucial. It’s very important that you make a few minutes a day to tune in on what is happening in our world today.