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I was doing some research on education today and came upon some troubling and sad statistics. I’m not really surprised of course. Who would be, if they spent only a few minutes examining our popular culture? Or 10 seconds on YouTube?

The information I found came from several sources, including Gallup and various Universities from around the country. Here’s the take-aways that made me want to cry a ham sandwich of sorrow (fromĀ Psychology Today.)

  • According to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 68% of public school children in the U.S. do not read proficiently by the time they finish third grade. And the U.S. News & World reported that barely 50% of students are ready for college level reading when they graduate;
  • After leading the world for decades in 25-34 year olds with university degrees, the U.S. is now in 12th place. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. at 52nd among 139 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010. Nearly 50% of all graduate students in the sciences in the U.S. are foreigners, most of whom are returning to their home countries;
  • 18% of Americans still believe that the sun revolves around the earth, according to a Gallup poll;

You can find many more sad facts at Psychology Today.

For some reason I find the last one I listed as the most troubling.

What do you think? Has the U.S. lost its ability to compete due to the flashy pressure of pop culture distractions? Are we, as a nation, so unconcerned with knowledge that we’ll go dancing and skipping into a future ruled by idiots? Will everyone outside of the U.S. start to use the term “American” as slang for moron, like they use “Texas” as slang for “mentally disturbed?” Only time will tell I suppose. I guess we’ll know when they replace water with Gatorade to irrigateĀ our crops.


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