The article about the classroom teaching of 20th-century subjects such as World War II [Metro, May 28] was disturbing.

It is time to split the study of U.S. history in high school into two units, one covering the period until 1900 and the other covering the 20th century. Only then can topics such as World War II get the kind of attention they need and deserve.

GREG PRINCIPATO

Alexandria

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America's 291,557 combat dead during World War II would be anguished to know that their sacrifice is not acknowledged in the classrooms of Montgomery County High School.

Large numbers of the casualties were not much older than the students cited in the article when they lost their lives in the service of our nation.

How is it possible to hold a meaningful discussion of a war's social ramifications without first having a firm grasp of its political, military and personal dimensions?

Fortunately, this travesty is not universal. When my daughter took Advanced Placement history at Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax County, she correctly identified the "Big Four" nations when I asked (and then also named their wartime leaders).

For the errant schools identified in the article, when will parents, high school principals and education directors hold their teachers responsible for adhering to more professional standards?

GORDON I. PETERSON

Springfield