They say history is the best teacher...  But what if students don't know enough about history?  A new assessment shows most American students may not be paying attention in history class.

FOX News Radio's Dave Anthony reports...

More than 7,000 fourth-graders, 11,000 eighth-grade students and 12,000 high school seniors took part in the exam.   Fourth-graders needed to score only a 243/500 (or 48.6%) to be considered proficient, eighth-graders had to get a 294 (58.8%), seniors a 325 (65%).

Students were quizzed on topics including colonization, the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, and the contemporary United States.  One question asked fourth-graders to name an important result of the U.S. building canals in the 1800s...only 44% knew that it increased trade among states.