I’m sure many of you have enjoyed watching TV shows exploiting our intelligence (or in some cases, ignorance), like “Who wants to be Millionaire?” or “Are You Smarter than Fifth-Grader?” Then there are those TV reality reporters taking survey of the “average citizen on the street” which ask what would most certainly be questions of what should be obvious knowledge; and finding such surprising answers showing what is often embarrassing ignorance or lack of concern for knowing the answers.
Even the relatively recent “Jaywalking” segments on the Tonight Show with host, Jay Leno tested the “common knowledge” base of average pedestrians in L.A. with such questions as: How many stars on the American Flag?? (52); Do you remember the last book you read?? (Uh, do magazines & comics count?); Where does the Pope live? (England); What’s the tenure of Supreme Court judge? (I’d guess four years); and on and on!!!!
Are we “cherry-picking” these comments to just produce “entertainment”?
Well, NO! There are many recent surveys out there; National Geographic’s Literacy Survey is just one.
So why is this??
First: is because of our government run school system. Our current schools are maintained and supported by Fed & State funds whether they are properly run or not. There are no choices, even if they are poorly administered or not, even if teachers are lacking or not (especially since many tenured teachers lose their competitive edge and professional motivation). The story is so very similar in other government run organizations like the Post Office as prime example; where you have (unionized) employees who feel their job is beyond reproach; where an “act of Congress” is needed to discipline or remove an employee for poor performance.
Currently, poor performing school becomes rewarded with enrollments primarily due to attendance requirements imposed on …Read more