Sunday, August 26, 2007

One Fifth of “U.S. Americans” Can’t Locate the US on a World Map

What a great YouTube video to put up on the Sunday before the Monday when Texas’ precious children will be heading back to school to fill their heads with sweet, sweet knowledge. Texas is way down the list in just about every educational rating system there is except for maybe the one that rates a given state’s education system’s performance in religious indoctrination.

Almost every other state is better at educating our children than Texas. Almost.

All I can say is this: Thank you Jesus for South Carolina!


Anonymous said...

Seriously though. Why CAN'T you americans locate the U.S on a world map? It's your own country damnit.

Hal said...

You're asking me to answer the question that our Miss Teen South Carolina couldn't answer? OK. Let me attempt.

Education in the USA is in a shambles. We are training our children to learn by rote the questions, and then learn by rote the answers to the questions. That is what you saw in Miss Teen South Carolina. She filled her head with all the possible questions that could be asked, what the answers were, and when she was presented with a question that required analysis and synthesis of different ideas, she fell on her butt.

In the US our kids are no longer being taught how to think. They are being taught how to answer questions on a standardized test. Sad but true. Our government is totally to blame. They want measurable achievement rates, not learning. The tail wags the dog here in the US, these days.

Why can't our students locate the United States on a world map, you ask? It's because our education system does not require that knowledge in its standardized tests.

Tragic, eh?

Anonymous said...

But Hal,finding the US on a map does not require analysis and synthesis of different ideas. It is the simplest form of rote memorization that you are complaining about. The school seem like they can't even get that right.

Hal said...

But Anon, that wasn't the question asked of Miss Teen South Carolina. She was asked to explain why 20% of Americans can't find their own country on a world map. They didn't ask her to find it herself.

That doesn't require synthesis, but putting it together why 20% can't do that does.

Hal said...

And why can't Americans find their own country? Search me. But let me try.

I'm guessing that some of them can't because they won't. They leave the question blank or perform what we call in the trade "random bubbling".

Another portion of them can't do it because they are illiterate.

And yet another portion of them simply aren't paying attention. If it isn't critical to their priorities in life, why learn it?


Anonymous said...

its clearly because they dont put a shoe on their head.

Unknown said...

Good answer Hal. It is a shame how far downhill things have gone. But what's scarier is that it's intentional. How do you revert a free society and control a population? Make the lower and middle class illiterate and therefore stupid, get it hooked on drugs (enter Big Pharma and Psychiatry into every facet of life, especially schools), and brainwash it through the mass media, etc.. May sound extreme to some but so is 1/5 of Americans not being able to locate the US on a map. Hopefully, enough good guys wake up and do something before it gets too extreme to undo the damage ...

Unknown said...

Here in Asia, I saw many articles and news of this beauty queen and her answer. I am just wondering why did she 'pulled' in Iraq and S.Africa when the question was asking about the Americans? or is there any inside joke?

Anonymous said...

Why can't 9/10 of the people responding to this post do some research and realize the question was nonsense?

There are no credible studies that suggest 20% of Americans can't find the U.S. on a map.

Yes, the education system in the U.S. must be improved.

But, well educated and independent thinking people should understand that a ridiculous question and the bumbling answer of a young, nervous girl do not represent the intelligence of the average American.

Anonymous said...

Beacuse more than 1/5 of Americans are from Mexico. They can't even speak English, much less find the U.S. on a map.

Hal said...

Fantastic! Someone has finally come up with the answer that burns in the heart of us all. It's because of the immigrants.

The immigrants make us pay more for milk. They have mercilessly driven up our gasoline prices. The immigrants are responsible for the War in Iraq, Bridges to Nowhere, and the current shortage of steel.

The immigrants. Those stupid stupid immigrants. Can't speak English. Hey, bubba, can you speak Spanish? Thought not.

Go crawl into your neoconservative nin-com-poop hole. You and your kith and kin are history.

(and now you know why I allowed your comment in).

Mrs. Brown said...

I figure it's because 20% of Americans are under the age of 5.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Belfast,Ireland, if you Americans know were that is, Joke! I have been to America before and people aren't stupid. But i knew of mates who were able to convince an opposing team on a basketball trip that they had never seen a TV before and that they all ate potatoes. From what I've heard the problem is that Americans only really learn American history and when they are shown a map they are shown a map of the states not of the world. An example of your how supposedly weak the American education system is is that a guy in the year above me in my school got a scholarship to san Diego university because he got an American test score way above average when back here he was only average.

Anonymous said...

The question assumes that the studies done are unbiased, and that it is actually true that 20 percent of US Americans can't locate their own country.

I can't find any evidence of that poll anywhere in the internet. Can someone give me links to evidences that 20 percent of US citezens can't locate their own country in the world map?

Anonymous said...

I once had a conversation with a woman from Albany, Oregon concerning my plans to take a train from Vermont down to New York City. Her response:

"Wait - don't you mean go up to New York? Isn't New York above Vermont?"

And this wasn't an educated error, assuming that the rest of New York State somehow arched above Vermont on the Canadian border - she knew I was going to New York City. I won't even get started on the people I've conversed with who didn't know Manhattan was an island (or those who wanted to know which state Vermont was in).

jlnelson said...

The thing is... there is no such study that says this. A 2006 study found that 94% of Americans could easily locate the USA, Mexico, Canada, the local oceans, and many other countries correctly. So I don't believe this at all.