Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Public Education Breeds Public Ignorance

A product of the New Jersey public school system myself, I'm not the least bit surprised by recent survey results released by CNN.com, which reveal widespread geographic illiteracy among much of America’s youth. If results like those listed below aren’t cause for legitimate national concern I'm not sure what is:

· Thirty-three percent of respondents couldn't pinpoint Louisiana on a map.
· Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
· Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
· Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
· Forty-seven percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
· Seven-five percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
· Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.
· Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world.
· Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.

Source: The Associated Press

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