You've heard the cry that we need more money for education and that's why we so far behind other countries--we're just not spending enough. If money improved the quality of education our students would be so far ahead of the rest of the world the race would be for second place. We spend almost twice as much as any other country yet out of some 34 countries we come in somewhere around 14th. For those who have had public school math that's nowhere close to first. A few years ago Rush Limbaugh reported that on the exit exam for the New York City School System that on the math section over 90 percent of the students could not figure out what two-thirds of nine was! You may have run into this math ignorance from young cashiers at places like fast-food restaurants who can't give change without the use of the cash register (or whatever they call them now). If your bill is $11.23 and you give the cashier a $20 and three pennies they're lost. Ask your kids (grandchildren) if they are 12 or older what the Pythagorean Theorem is...heck, just ask them what a "theorem" is. Never mind asking them who Pythagoras was.
Okay, perhaps you don't think it's all that important that they don't know the above right off the bat but what about the survey reported in Education World a few years back that twenty-three percent of our students thought it was John F. Kennedy who said, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Buy 99 percent knew Beavis and Butthead. Meanwhile, only 23 percent of college seniors could identify James Madison as the "Father of the Constitution"; but 98 percent knew Snoop Dog is a rapper. Forty-three percent identified the Declaration of Independence as the source of the phrase, "Government of the people, by the people and for the people." Sixty-three percent did not know which war the Battle of the Bulge was fought. Several years ago I dropped in on the Jewish VFW's national convention being held here at the DeSoto and one of the World War II vets who helped liberate a concentration camp says he talks at high schools once in awhile. He told me it was a common question from the students wondering if World War II was before or after Vietnam? And when Gary Powers, Junior was here at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum raising money for a Cold War museum he told me when he went into schools to talk about the U-2 Incident (where his dad was shot down over the Soviet Union in a U-2 spy plane) most think he's coming to talk about the rock group U-2.
"Pathetic" doesn't even begin to define this monumental ignorance. And I recall an episode of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader with Jeff Foxworthy when a young man (looked to be in his mid to late 30s) got to the $250,000 question. At this point of the show the rules said the contestant could hear the question before accepting it or "drop out of school" and keep the money he/she had already won. The question was a quote from American History and it was: "Who said, 'Give me liberty or give me death!'?" My reaction immediately was this has to be the easiest quarter-million-dollars ever made. Not this guy though...the blank stare was appalling to me and he dropped out of school! We early baby boomers learned about the Revolutionary War in the fifth grade at the latest and that famous quote came from Patrick Henry. Not knowing what I thought was a "no-brainer" question about our history cost this dude $150,000. True he left with $100,00 or so but geeze-leweeze!
When John Stossel was still at ABC he did an episode called Stupid in America in which he did a comparison between the kids in the top-performing school in New Jersey with an equivalent school in Belgium. He gave them an identical American History test. The Belgian kids scored in the 90s and asked why the test was so easy. How'd the Jersey kids do? Their highest scores were somewhere in the 60 percentile. That got the teacher's union's shorts in a wad and they went down in typical left-wing style demonstrated in front of ABC headquarters demanding that Stossel come teach a class to see how tough it is shouting, "Teach, John, teach!" . To their chagrin, Stossel accepted and said he would if he could bring a camera crew with him to document it all. As hard as it is to believe, the invitation was withdrawn. What was there to hide?
It's high time was started getting our money's worth. Kids need to know HOW to think, not what to think. They don't need Communist/socialist brain washing about "climate change" or how horrible the Founding Fathers were because some owned slaves. The examples are too numerous to mention but you get the idea. We're paying for our own demise if we don't get this under control. Former Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev was famous for saying to us: "We will bury you." But he also added this, "...and we'll do it without firing a shot." We laughed but so did he but the only difference was our chuckles were over the humor but his was sinister. The Communists already had a foothold in the country when all the spies were sent in to our state department, Pentagon and elsewhere in Washington, D. C. when we were allied during World War II. They began to infiltrate Hollywood (Howard Hughes said he left Hollywood because there were too many Communists) and Walt Disney begged Congress at numerous hearings to stop the Communist threat in entertainment. Disney despised the Commies but his warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears. They began to infiltrate the pulpit and classroom and here we are 60 years later and as one of the greatest public speakers in our history, the late-great Dr. Kenneth McFarland made a speech in the early 60s asking: "Are We Raising the Red Flag Over Ourselves?" The short answer is "yes!" We continue down this road at our peril.
BTW: the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Tell your kids.