I am well aware that this article is roughly two years old, but odds are that very little has changed about it. Apparently, most Americans are not that bright, and do not know where Iraq is. We have been fighting there for roughly five years (three at the time of the article) and yet only 1/3 of Americans aged 18-24 can find the country on a map. This is absolutely absurd and shows the disgrace that the American Educational System has become. Other interesting stats from the two-year-old article:
Thirty-three percent of respondents couldn't pinpoint Louisiana on a map.
Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
Forty-seven percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
Seventy-five percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.
Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world.
Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.
Now, to me, this is just a scary set of information. How can we expect persons in this country to get jobs, to help the economy, or to know how to care for themselves? Hell, how can we expect our next generation of leaders to know anything if the vast majority of their peers know absolutely nothing. American schools need to step it up and start working on these things. I am all for learning the arts and such, but the essentials (math, science, social, and communication) should be fully taught before anything else is considered.
This gets even scarier when you start looking at the schools that are trying to get Creationism along side of Evolution. While I am all for teaching the conflict of creationism and evolution in a social studies class, they have no part in a science class. The issue here is more evidence that our schools have failed America. The fact that people think that a scientific theory and a religious theory. The fact that people think that Evolution and Darwinism are the same thing is absolutely saddening. The fact that people think that “...Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...” is in the Constitution (hell, some even think the 1st), is even worse. What are our schools doing when the kids are learning these things.?
Alas, I don't think that we will ever come up with a good way to fix this as it would be deemed anti-American to do so. Failing kids is considered wrong, causes law suits, and other bullshit like that. Hell, with lots of kids failing, under No Child Left Behind (act) the school gets less money. Schools need to stop being scared of the consequences and step up and properly deal with the kids, even if it means they need to be failed at a grade. If the schools can not do this, or the parents do not step up, the consequences for us all will be dire.
Some very interesting news comes with todays
map update: Both Virginia and North Carolina have switched into the Obama camp. Granted, both are well within the margin or error, but this is a huge issue. On the other hand, McCain further secured his hold on Ohio, Florida, and West Virginia. Both Obama and McCain kept their strong leads in California and Kansas, respectfully. The overall changes this week means that Obama is now beating McCain 301 to 237 in the Electoral College.
In the general election Obama is up by +4.8 points on both the McCain/Obama polls AND the McCain/Obama/Nader/Barr polls which means that third parties do not appear to be playing a large role in this upcoming election.
*END OF MAP UPDATE*
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Robert M. Barga,
Editor of http://whalertly.blogspot.com/