Friday, March 10, 2006

The state of our educational system

While browsing mainstream media sites today, a few things occurred to me.
1. Our government-run educational system is in serious trouble
2. I am paying more attention
3. 'They' are finally taking notice
4. All of the above

For instance, look at this piece from National Geographic:

"Americans ages 18 to 24 came in next to last among nine countries in the National Geographic-Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey, which quizzed more than 3,000 young adults in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States. Top scorers were young adults in Sweden, Germany, and Italy."

"Despite the daily bombardment of news from the Middle East, Central Asia, and other world trouble spots, roughly 85 percent of young Americans could not find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a map, according to a new study."

Is it any wonder so many Americans are confused and naïve about the Middle East turmoil? If they can't even find the country, how can they understand the history?

Instead, we have high school students in Colorado being bombarded with dramatic ideologies, all in a guise of learning geography. Are the children
facing indoctrination?

Of course, some folks find the
Simpsons more important than their rights.
This is a sad commentary is ever there was one.

"Another finding from the poll, a telephone survey of 1,000 random adults with an error margin of 3%, was that 22% of Americans could name all five Simpson characters. By comparison, just one in 1,000 people could name all five First Amendment freedoms."

If people do not understand the basic rights we have as American citizens, how will they know when they are taken away?

In California, we have
parents suing the school board because Johnny or Betty can't face reality.

"On Wednesday, 20 high school seniors and their parents sued the state Department of Education and school Superintendent Jack O'Connell, claiming the exam is illegal and discriminatory. They worry the test may prevent the students from graduating."

"Many students in California have not been given a fair opportunity to learn the material on the exam,"

We are talking about a test that is set at the 8-10th grade level for graduating seniors? How can they say they were not given fair opportunity to learn the material? Did they skip grades 8,9,10 and 11?

Of course, this is the test that was set to take place back in 2004 but red tape and legalism took over, forcing a holding period. This is the first year California seniors will have to show their mastery of skills.

Here is this story from
South Carolina, about a senior, clearly in need of assistance.

"Dorian Cain told me he wants to learn to read. He's 18 years old and in 12th grade, but when I asked him to read from a first-grade level book, he struggled with it. "

Are the children being cheated by the schools? Parents? Is compulsory schooling dumbing us down?


Anonymous Rachael said...

Kim, once again...lots to think about.

Thank you for keeping us on our toes.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Jess Elliott said...

This is a great post! It's frightening once you really start researching this subject. Thanks for including all those great links!

9:03 PM  

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