Failing at Education
I am certainly not a fan of the state of education in our country. It is an underfunded, under-resourced, under-staffed mess. The state of teachers fares no better. The nation is filled with incompetent imbeciles who are allowed to keep their jobs due to the backing of one of the most (and one of the last) powerful unions in the country. The “No Child Left Behind” policies didn’t help the matter either. It reeked of political half-assery—you know, where they make promises to get votes, without any clear implementation plan—and has eroded science education significantly. Parents can’t be let off the hook either. In the busy lives of the average American, the vast majority don’t spend any quality time with their children, if they spend any time at all. Take a look around, and I bet you will notice that many parents spend much more energy placating their children than they do anything else with them.
I was floored recently by a study conducted in Oklahoma by Strategic Visions that was aimed at determining the level of basic civics knowledge of Oklahoma High School students. They took 10 random question from the test that is administered to applicants for U.S. citizenship. Are you ready to be awestruck by the results:
|Question||% of Correct Answers|
|What is the supreme law of the land?||28|
|What is the supreme law of the land?||26|
|What are the two parts of the US Congress?||27|
|How many justices are there on the Supreme Court?||10|
|Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?||14|
|What ocean is on the east coast of the United States?||61|
|What are the two major political parities in the United States?||43|
|We elect a US senator for how many years?||11|
|Who was the first President of the United States?||23|
|Who is in charge of the executive branch?||29|
While one could argue that high school students may not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court, I find it hard to believe…and stomach…that less than 1:4 knew who our first President was. Many of these results are sickening to me. Only 2.8% of students that took the test passed the 60% mark required for citizenship. Before you place blame with Oklahoma however, it should be mentioned that the same results came from Arizona where just 3.5% of students passed the test. Something needs to be done in this country regarding education and I think it starts with a complete reboot of the entire system.