WASHINGTON, D.C. — Michigan gets a “B” for the standards it applies to the teaching of history, putting it in the top 10 in a national ranking by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, according to Education Week magazine.

The education research and advocacy organization gave 28 states a “D” or lower, Education Week reported. Critics said the low grades mainly reflect a difference in opinion between Fordham and various states on what makes for good history instruction.

A history professor in Colorado told Education Week that Fordham’s approach valued learning dates and events over in-depth understanding of ideas, and Fordham responded that knowledge of facts must precede such understanding, according to Education Week.

Michigan tries to bridge that gap in its standards, according to the Fordham review, and does a better job if it in the high school program than at elementary levels.

Education Week, “Report gives majority of states a poor grade on history standards,” Feb. 16, 2011

Thomas B. Fordham Institute, “The State of U.S. History Standards 2011: Michigan,” Feb. 16, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “Michigan standards get mixed grades,” July 31, 2010