Young Americans don't know geography

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posted on May, 2 2006 @ 10:48 AM
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A new study confirms that young Americans have a woefully bad knowledge of general geography. A majority of people in this study could not find Iraq on the map, while a whole one-third could not locate Louisiana.
 



www.cnn.com
After more than three years of combat and nearly 2,400 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map, a study released Tuesday showed.

The study found that less than six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 33 percent could not point out Louisiana on a U.S. map.

The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study paints a dismal picture of the geographic knowledge of the most recent graduates of the U.S. education system. "Taken together, these results suggest that young people in the United States ... are unprepared for an increasingly global future," said the study's final report.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I'm quite upset by this. The future of this country depends heavily on its people being educated. There is no excuse for lack of knowledge as basic as this. To be honest, I'm a little angry at the parents of these sudents -- in my opinion, it's hugely irresponsible to disregard their kids' actual level of awareness about our own country and a very large world outside of our borders.

How can we expect people to make educated decisions when it comes to politics? And how can these people calim to be patriotic if at one time a large part of the population conceded to sending our armed forces to a country they don't event know where it's located?

This is sad.


[edit on 2-5-2006 by Aelita]




posted on May, 2 2006 @ 12:35 PM
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It pains me to say this, but why should we be surprised and shocked that kids can't find Louisiana, or West Virginia, not to mention Iraq, on a map? When alot of their parents couldn't either. This is the state of our oh so lovely public school system in this country. Kids who are functionally illiterate, geographically challenged, but boy are they well equipped with wonderful self esteem. That is until the real world comes a knockin' on the door.

Sad doesn't even begin to describe it. My word of choice is sickening and disappointing. But not surprised in the least. Classes are taught at the speed of the slowest child, so as not to damage little Johnny's or Rebbecca's self esteem. So little Alicia, and Juan are sitting there in the front of the class bored to tears.

Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. This started in the late 60's and early 70's, oddly enough about the time I started school. Fortunately for me, and my older siblings, we had parents who encouraged us to read and explore. We didn't get a TV set until I was in the 3rd grade. My entertainment was Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, etc....

Today, how many kids in elementary school, or Junior High even know who Robert Louis Stevenson even was, or what he wrote? I probably don't want to even know the answer.

Its a sad commentary on the state of our public school system in America, and an indictment of our so-called leaders.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 12:55 PM
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posted by seagull: “It pains me to say this, but why should we be surprised and shocked that kids can't find Louisiana, or West Virginia, not to mention Iraq, on a map? When a lot of their parents couldn't either. This is the state of our oh so lovely public school system in this country. [Edited by Don W]


Rant time on the public schools. Teachers and even some administrators are very capable and highly competent. But what with having to “domesticate” their charges, teach so much civility and mutual respect, and etc., there is too little time remaining for the “hard core” subjects formerly taught in the public - and private - schools.

Unfortunately the union busting types and penny pinching anti taxers and “little government” types have jumped on the Bash Public Schools bandwagon. We are truly shooting ourselves in the foot. And too blinded to see it. Condoms and evolution are the only issues with about 15% of the population to the exclusion of learning.


Kids who are functionally illiterate, geographically challenged, but boy are they well equipped with wonderful self esteem. That is until the real world comes a knockin' on the door. Sad doesn't even begin to describe it. My word of choice is sickening and disappointing. But not surprised in the least. Classes are taught at the speed of the slowest child, so as not to damage little Johnny's or Rebecca's self esteem.


Race rears its ugly head. Have I not said everything in America beings with race and ends with race. For those of you who don’t read my generous output, I’m saying “ . . Classes are taught at the speed of the slowest child . . “ are racial code words.


Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. This started in the late 60's and early 70's, oddly enough about the time I started school . . how many kids in elementary school, or Junior High know who Robert Louis Stevenson even was, or what he wrote? I probably don't want to even know the answer. It’s a sad commentary on the state of our public school system in America, and an indictment of our so-called leaders. [Edited by Don W]


It is the teacher’s job to teach, the administrator’s job is to administer and the politicians job ought to be to raise enough money to do both well. And to keep his or her nose out of the curriculum. It’s not so much that I’m against religion, Heaven forbid, its that religion has it place and always causes trouble when it - religion - gets out of its place. Always.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 03:51 PM
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Since I had my children in public school after being in DOD schools for years I noticed the lack of quality education in many public schools.

When I started working with the school system I definitely came to the conclusion that American public education is below standards.

Why is that?

Many factors, do to what the states required in the curriculum.

History and science is two of the subjects that are the worst and less taken care in public schools.

While is an emphasis in reading and writing and also math the curriculum is lacking in anything else.

Is a shame when I was asked by a teacher with a masters at work and asked me if Puerto Rico Was part of Mexico or if I needed a Green card to be in the US.

When a person that educates children doesn't even know things like that it makes you wonder what kind of education children are getting in public schools.

A Shame that is what it is



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 07:22 AM
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posted by marg6043

I had my children in public school after being in DoD schools, I noticed the lack of quality education in public schools. I worked with the schools . . I concluded American public education is below standards. Why? History and science is two subjects that are the worst and less taken care in public schools. [Edited by Don W]


America is in a culture war. About 30 years ago, the Right Wing Religionists decided to ‘take back’ the public schools. The planning group was the NARB - National Association of Religious Broadcasters. They meet annually. They represent the 100s of small town radio stations scattered around America. There are a dozen “movers and shakers” who broadcast every day on those stations. James Dobson comes to mind. Others of like ilk seek the glamor of national television. James Bakker and his wife, Tammy Faye. Jimmy Swaggart. Pat Robertson and his 700 Club. The Robert’s father and son. And etc.

The RWs ‘discovered’ that local school boards offered the perfect opportunity to fulfill that goal. My old state of Ky has 120 counties each with its own school system and board. My new state of FL has 67 counties and each with its own school board. Most school boards are made up of 5 or 7 members elected by the public in obscure elections or located at the bottom of a typical ballot. Often, fewer than 10% of voters would bother to vote for the school boards.

Of the 750,000 people In Jacksonville, 450,000 are registered to vote. Typically, half will vote. Fewer than 25,000 will vote for the school board. It is possible for 13,000 voters to control the largest single expense item in local government. After 30 years of quiet work, the RWs have “control” of many school boards. The board chooses textbooks. Employs the superintendent. Hires administrators. Budgets for science labs. Buys for libraries.


It’s a shame when I was asked by a teacher with a masters at work if Puerto Rico was part of Mexico or if I needed a Green card to be in the US. When a person that educates children doesn't even know things like that it makes you wonder what kind of education children are getting in public schools. A shame that is what it is.


Your complaints M6, can be laid squarely at the feet of the diligent but misguided Evangelical, Fundamental, Born Again Christian movement. They have gained control of the school boards. Your children are getting exactly the education they want them to have. God Bless America. Say Hello! third world. We're coming.

[edit on 5/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:45 AM
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I recall hearing about NYC students that couldn't find.....wait for it.....wait for it.....America, on a map.

"Only" 10 percent or so though, so nothing to worry about.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 12:20 PM
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Makes you wonder...

How many of the 18-23 year olds in the US military know where they actually are?

Given the dismissive attitude of alot of US posters on these boards when dealing with discussions about matters outside the US, or about world history. this kind of ignorance can only be a bad thing. How can you learn to live in a world that you know nothing about?

Actually maybe the dumbing down is to prevent people from actually giving a damn. Makes it a whole load easier to send people out to fight in a world that is permanently portrayed as hostile and inferior to their own. Its what the Nazi's did in WW2. Hitler told the troops that the Russians were sub-human and therefore they would never stand trial for crimes against civilians.

Mind you, the Russians did ram that policy back down the Germans throats through most of '44 and '45.

Theres a lesson in there somewhere I'm sure....



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Really?

I never had too much trouble with general geography and history. But these days, most people can't find Saudi Arabia, and that's EASY! Much less South Africa or Brazil. Sad really. I think it's because they never drew it like I did in my notes, I also would draw bad drawings of the countries next to it, so I could remember it.

Why don't most kids do this? I also would print out maps on occasion, and would check out libary books on those countires in late middle school and beyond.

[edit on 5/5/2006 by cranefly]



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 08:26 PM
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well i cant comment on the USA side of things but if that is the case all I can say is thank god I live and was educated in the UK.

I know we have our own issues people complaining our exams are to easy (I didnt find them that easy when i did them back in 1997 - 2000)

and then they complain about our uni's and exams their well I am about to start my last set and I would have to say either I am at a damn good uni (Which i think it is) with excellent lecturers and courseworks and exams that are both problem solving as well as challenging (i mean challenging) or I picked the wrong course, computer science.

I know there been scandal within scotland with uni passing ppl who have failed just to get student fee's which I suppose is not helping with the overall opinion in our education system.


On USA thing do the US goverment spend less per student than most countries out of intrest?

I am be well off or stereotyping due to too much tv but dont US schools seem to take an over the top importance of sports over the benfits of knowledgable education...or is that all in the tv fantasy.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 08:50 PM
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Actually the US spends as much as Sweden and Switzerland. But because the whole thing is monopolized by the goverment, over-involved in too many classes, including goverment, which is illegal, check www.findlaw.com or www.firstgov.com-the Goverment's main public website here.

It's sad
, because then the goverment over-obesseses with promoting BIG-business-college people types , that our in "Connecicut families"/ "Donald Trump" type categories, instead of allowing to teach teens and young adults to market their skills from typing to music, to [productive hobbies you insert here] to be used in a career, while at the same time trying to keep the price of staple goods and services reasonable and allow young adults to move out, and into the world as "The Workforce" and keep the country at a decent GDP without the help of illegal immagrants or the ones we already have. By also adjusting wage and allowing unions to partner more with workers, and keeping pro-workers incentives.

If the US goverement, only stayed involved moderately, and just made sure it was satitary, safe, and that most PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY LEARN IN SCHOOL. Then Americans wouldn't be "fighting" with collegeians, "illegals", and "legals" for jobs. Because people countiue to come here, because are goverment won't set an example by doing so. BTW, most unions view themsleves as stronger PARTENERS with companies than with workers.

With companies like Giant Eagle and Wal-mart, and now Steel companies are beginning to look down on Unions, which is bad for the average Janes and Joes here.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 08:53 PM
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posted by minority2000uk
One USA thing. Does the US Government spend less per student than most countries out of interest? [Edited by Don W]


The Federal government lays uniform taxes nationwide. Once upon a time - in 1960s and 1970s - the Federal government took money from rich states and sent it to poor states. Ronald Reagan and the 2 Bushes killed that process.

In the 1950s, my old district of Louisville was 30 miles north of Ft Knox where a lot of soldiers along with their families were located. There were many of their children who attended school in our city. About 10% of Louisville’s school budget was provided by the Federal government as an "impact" payment.

All Federal property nationwide is reasonably valued and the Fed’s pay the local property tax in a payment called, “in lieu of taxes” on the theory the states cannot tax the Federal government. Richard Nixon, despite his bad habits, was in favor or block grants from the Fed’s to the locals, as a way of raising the poorer parts of the country up to the level of the richer parts. It is now Republican philosophy to reduce or eliminate all Federal equalization funds leaving each state to do its best on its own and without Federal help. Federal aid to education is probably less than 5% of school budgets nationwide. It would be 0% if Geo W had it his way.

So you say, why do they call it the UNITED States? Shouldn’t it be the DIS-United States?

[edit on 5/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:37 PM
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Hey, Don W, are you a politican or something?

Because it's "odd" for a member to answer like that. But that's cool to know. Thanks for the info.


I have nothing to do with the naming of it. You know, you remind me of someone I know. That was the "Founding Fathers"- Thomas Paine included, I think he more or less is given credit for "naming it" with his pamphlets, and a book, you should at least read his best known work "Common Sense". Although, I think it was more of a four way thing between 2 indian Chiefs, Ben Franklin, and him.

But I don't know what we're going to do about educating people, aside from insisting they always check out a non-refence book every week, like I did growing up. But otherwise, it will take some smart people, and several committiees, as well as the privatizing of education to teach people Geography and other things they should know by 20, nowadays.

[edit on 6/5/2006 by cranefly]



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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I think government should get out of the education business. They have failed miserably. The money going to the Department of Education should be going to the people with school aged children. The voucher system would get privately owned schools up and running. Paying kids for grades would be a great idea that could also come about by abolishing the Dept of Education. Accounts could be set up when the child enters the 1st Grade and could be accessed when they finish the 12th.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 08:46 PM
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posted by cranefly
Hey, Don W, are you a political or something? Because it's "odd" for a member to answer like that. But that's cool to know. Thanks for the info. I don't know what we're going to do about educating people. But otherwise, it will take the privatizing of education to teach people Geography and other things they should know by 20. [Edited by Don W]



posted by Cardeller4:
I think government should get out of the education business. The money going to the Department of Education should be going to the people with school aged children. The voucher system would get privately owned schools up and running. [Edited by Don W]



The oldest public school still in existence in America is Boston Latin School. Founded in 1635. It was founded one year before Harvard College. The first public support of education is found in the Northwest Ordinance, July, 1787, which ante-dates the Republic itself! One sixty-fourth part of each section of land was set aside to support public schools. Ultimately, the United States adopted the Land Grant Colleges Act, in which each state is allowed to designate a college or university as that state’s “land grant” college, which is a special class of institutions that regular received public funds. To my best knowledge, the state university is usually the state’s LGC.

If you watch much tv you “know” the first public buildings in new towns in America’s West were, saloons, gaming houses, then either a church or a school, often both. A town did not feel itself complete until it had hired a teacher for its children.

Public education received its most profound boost in 1943, when the GI Bill of Rights was passed into law. This law provided among other things, 4 years of college education to every veteran with more than 90 days service. That was about 13 million men and some women. Before War Two, only the privileged children were expected to go to college. My alma mater, the U of Louisville, had 1,300 students in 1941. By 1950, it had 10,000. And today, it has over 25,000.

If you like today’s world, the GI Bill had more to do with that than any other single law ever passed. Those same GIs got to buy a new house with no money down. This law created the suburbs. And killed public transportation in America. It made it the ordinary for middle class people to expect their children to attend colleges. It made possible the large number of professional people. Doctors, lawyers and merchant chiefs.

I support public education in America. It has served as one of the primary “melting pots” in America. It has given every man’s children an opportunity to attend school. Education is the key to personal success. Of every kind. I cannot image America without public schools.



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 11:25 AM
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I agree, America needs public schools. And the newer suburbs of the US need public transportation, so the average Janes and Joes in the US, could figure out some way to make Ethanol 850 more applicatable for cars, and then lower costs of Teachers, schools, food, etc. Not to mention, no longer an excuse to be involved in wars and forging puppet democracies in the Middle East.

Politics aside, I don't like how the federal goverment regulates some of education. Not the Sciences, but the humanities, which get toyed with the most before hitting the textbooks, and if people believe in Evolution, Creationism, or ET Genetic Splicing of bigfoot, humans, and ETs, then they should make a dislaimer saying this is what "so and so Institution, company, etc. believe and is supported by the federal goverment."

Actually, don't they have them already?


But voluchers would be a great idea, but many parents here are too lazy to vote for it, and "shop around" for schools.



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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Ramblings

On taxes, I’m from Ky which has an approach I liked. They tax everything. Even your bank balance on Jan. 1. But OTOH, all the taxes are small. And the end result is everybody is paying some taxes. It’s a share and share alike approach. Or to alter the famous pre anti-smoking saying, “If you’ve got it, pay it!” I live in FL now, which has no inheritance tax and no income tax but relies primally on a 7% sales tax.

FL also has a very high - I think - property tax. I rent now, so my contribution to the property tax is “hidden” from my view. Sure, renter’s pay the property tax. Indirectly. We pay it, the landlord gets to deduct it!


posted by cranefly
I agree, America needs public schools. The newer suburbs of the US need public transportation, so the average Janes and Joes in the US could figure out some way to make Ethanol 850 more applicable for cars, and lower costs of teachers, schools, food, etc.


C/F, there is no way we can ever get off the oil addiction or get away from foreign oil. We use 22 million barrels a day. We pump 7 million barrels domestic oil a day. If we do ANWR, that will add 2 million barrels a day. We are hooked on foreign oil. We have 800 million barrels in our Strategic Reserve.

Every so-called “alternate” fuel has been out there for decades. Every so-called “alternate” source of energy has been out there for decades. I dislike the all too common reference to “free market” because I do not feel there are ‘free markets” in the US. Whatever I do think about the market, free or hobbled, it muddles along and chooses every day what is cheapest. What delivers the most btu’s for the buck. Which is the "bottom-line" name of this game.

Conservation is the only useful alternative or supplement to present practices. If ethanol, if hydrogen, if multi-fuels were so good, considering we have known the technology for decades, one or more of them would be here Now! And not just a pie in the sky plan the R&Fs are about to sell us to pay Halliburton or ADM more money to look for the rainbow's pot of gold. That money could better go for schools.

Any “research” or “development” project that needs public funds is very likely defrauding the public. If the proposal was viable, private money would flow into it from the Rockefellers, the duPonts, and Fords of old. Or the Bill Gates and Warren Buffets of today. Those guys are not dumb. They will be in on the ground floor of a real workable plan, if there is ever to be such a thing. IMO, It’s a shill game.


Politics aside, I don't like how the federal government regulates some of education. Not the Sciences, but the humanities, which get toyed with the most before hitting the textbooks, and if people believe in Evolution, Creations, or ET Genetic Splicing of bigfoot, humans, and ETs, then they should make a disarmer saying this is what "so and so Institution, company, etc. believe and is supported by the federal government." Actually, don't they have them already?


I’m behind the curve on this. I’m sure the regulators need to reduce their intrusive practices. I don’t know how that is to be done as most of the problems stem from Congress. The bureaucrats are merely enforcing laws passed by Congress. They do not make up anything on their own authority. Congress is now deep into micro-managing us. Too deep.


But vouchers would be a great idea, but many parents here are too lazy to vote for it, and "shop around" for schools. [Edited by Don W]


I’m against vouchers if the money is tax money.




[edit on 5/7/2006 by donwhite]



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 06:49 PM
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I agree, no income tax(it's techinqually illegal anyway.) because it's an economic tax, not a property tax or sales tax, which are both legal by the State, Local, and Federal constitution. But I think one flat "Goverment funding"tax for everyone, rich, poor(unless you can't afford it, then you don't qualify to pay till your off your butt, and on your feet, and dancing, or whatever you do for a living.) It's a Goverment funding tax anyways, and I don't like how some of the richest, snobbist, stuffiest, and people like Warrent Buffet and the Rockeffellers use the Income Tax system to hide that money legally, and write off what they send to thier bank accounts in Switerland as "charity". If people, celebrity, billionaire, millionaire, has the money, they should do 3 things with it, and write it off apporiately.

1. Take care of Family(ies)-If divorced or in a wedlock situation.
2. Balance and maintian their business legally.
3. Pay thier taxes, and send what money is reasonable to charities.

I know it may look islamic, by how it's listed, but I was raised Christian, and that's just what I believe is how someone with that kind of money should take of it. If their too young to handle that amount. They should just donate it or the earnings of their ventures to a charity they trust.




I also agree, more people from ATS/PTS/BTS need to complain about the micro-managing by UN and Congress. It's even making News, even on FOX news, and it's just the most republican biased you can get. Even Bill O' Reiley has gotten caught calling old college friends, probably fraturinty buddies, "Brother" at least 10 times over the years. What do you think, about my opinion?



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 08:28 PM
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posted by cranefly
I agree, no income tax (it's technically illegal anyway.)


Now Cranefly, you really don’t believe that do you? That the Federal income tax is illegal? Please tell me why you think that.



“ . . I don't like how some of the richest people like Warren Buffet and the Rockefellers use the Income Tax system to hide money legally, and write off what they send to their bank accounts in Switzerland as "charity."


If anyone is audited and found to have committed fraud, then they are liable to the tax, penalties and interest. If the fraud exceeds a certain amount - $25,000 I believe - they are also liable for jail time.



I know it may look Islamic by how it's listed, but I was raised Christian, and that's just what I believe is how someone with that kind of money should take care of it.


Exactly. I agree.



I also agree people from ATS/PTS/BTS need to complain about the micro-managing by UN and Congress. It's even making News, even on FOX news. Even Bill O' Reilly has gotten caught calling old college friends, probably fraternity buddies "Brother" at least 10 times over the years. What do you think, about my opinion?


Well, I think you have hit on some problems that need to be dealt with but as long as Congress is too busy collecting money for the next campaign, they really don’t have time to deal with these problems that the small guy (and gals) had to deal with every day. They are too far removed for us to know what effects us. Like the price of gasoline. If you’re making $180,000 a year and your husband or wife is working for some government contractor making another $150,000 a year, you don’t really worry over the price of gasoline.





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