Where In The World Is Louisiana?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Adam's Apple, May 3, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Where in the World is Louisiana?
    Associated Press Release
    May 3, 2006

    WASHINGTON -- Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half -- 48 percent -- were unable to identify Mississippi.

    Americans from 18 to 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find Iraq, according to a Roper poll conducted for National Geographic.

    "Geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates us from the world,"said National Geographic President John Fahey in announcing a program to help remedy the problem. It hopes to enlist businesses, nonprofit groups and educators in a bid to improve geographic literacy.

    Planned is a five-year, multimedia campaign, My Wonderful World, that will target youths 8 to17. The goal is to motivate parents and educators to expand geographic offerings in schools, homes and communities.

    They will have their task cut out for them, judging by the survey of 510 young people in December and January. Among the findings:

    --Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the location of countries in the news, and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.

    --47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.

    --75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a Mideast map.

    --Six in 10 did not know the North-South Korean border is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought it was the U.S.-Mexican border.

    Joining in the improvement program are the American Federation of Teachers, Asia Society, Association of American Geographers, 4-H, National Basketball Association, National Council of La Raza, National PTA, Smithsonian and others.

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060503/NEWS06/605030412&search...
     
  2. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Who in his right mind would think the U.S. Mexico border was anything but the least fortified border in the world?

    I remember when I was in seventh grade and I won the school level geography bee and went to state. I was one of 7 people in the school who knew that the biggest lake in Central America was in Nicaragua. I won by knowing that Moscow was Europe's easternmost capitol. This isn't rocket science, and, in retrospect, I don't think I performed well enough to deserve to win, but then again, neither did anyone else in the school.
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I hear what you're saying. Our public schools are simply not educating. That has been pointed out time after time after time. Why the Democrats insist on maintaining the status quo is beyond me; but I guess if the teachers' union is one of your biggest boosters, it's understandable that you'd want to protect the interests of this segment of your base. But to the detriment of the kids in this country.

    The first priority for any teacher or school system should be that kids' ACTUALLY LEARN. If teachers aren't getting the job done, then something should be done about that. Parents in each state should band together and form a grass roots movement to bring about reform. If parents don't insist that their children learn, then I don't see much hope for any improvement in American education.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I'm also a state geography bee veteran. I will never forget the Khyber Pass goes between Afghanistan and Pakistan! :D
     
  5. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I'll tell you exactly why ALL politicians, not just Democrats, want to maintain this status quo. The first step is removing school choice. Everybody must attend the school in their district or pay extra money (that's right, school isn't free) to go elsewhere, in which case you're still paying for the school you're not going to. If competition is allowed to flourish, schools will have to make themselves desirable to parents, which goes against the greater agenda. The next step is to educate a generation of people who can be easily bamboozled by politicians. If the students can't even find LA, how many of them do you think will actually see the fundamental flaws in the tax plan and the idiocy of how the government spends its money? The students also hear history the way the politicians want it heard. Roosevelt is treated as a saint, making the populace more likely to accept big spending bills. The Tet offensive is practically portrayed as an NVA victory, giving people a rather skewed view of the two sides of the war debate.

    Free, public education is listed in the "Communist Manifesto" as one of the ten steps towards implementation of a Communist government, as these schools can instill love of government on the new generations. Higher up on that list are a progressive income tax and elimination of inheritance, but that's for another debate.
     
  6. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Will have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. I don't think ALL politicians want to maintain the status quo. President Bush, for one, does not think that the status quo should be maintained. But you have to have both parties agreeing that American education needs reform to get the job done.

    You and I both know that it's much easier to just pass the kids along to the next class year after year without having to deal with the pressure of actually teaching them anything. (Kathianne, I did not have you in mind when I wrote that sentence.) Parents are going to have to involve themselves in this issue (to get the attention of the politicians) or it is just not going to happen. People in this country cannot just stand back and expect politicians to do everything for them. We should be the ringleaders for what we want done and then see to it that it gets done.
     
  7. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Well, I didn't really mean all politicians, but definitely the majority of them (which is why you can't get vouchers passed until there's a public outcry). Now, both parties may pretend to agree that education needs reform, but they try to reform it through oft-failed methods such as standardized testing, which encourages teaching to some lame test and sets artificial standards (memorization rather than actual learning), smaller class sizes, meaning that now there's more individual indoctrination, and higher teacher pay, meaning that now teachers are paid more than ever to not teach your kids anything useful. None of these methods work. The politicians know this. They just keep using them because raising your taxes is no big deal to them and throwing money at a problem is enough to placate the voters for at least a few months.

    Let me give you an example. Atlanta city schools are among the worst in the country...the ENTIRE COUNTRY! They also get about $3000-$5000 more per student in funding than the highly successful schools in my county and are the best funded schools in the entire state. The money spend on two Atlanta school districts could easily fund three districts elsewhere. However, the schools still suck donkey balls. What's their solution? That's right, raise taxes and dump more money into these eductional black holes. Money goes in, nothing of value comes out.

    On a side note, I'll work three jobs, sell my bodily fluids, and sell all of my worldy goods on eBay befor I let one of my children set one foot inside a government school.
     
  8. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    That's exactly President Bush's feelings about publicly funded education, and you both have it right. It's an excellent analysis of the status of teaching and most public schools in America today.

    Absolutely agree. If I had children of school age today, they would go to the local Catholic school or one of several private Christian schools. Only way I could be sure they would come out educated.
     

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