Past the tipping point: Americans are too dumbed down to vote intelligently
by: J. D. Heyes
A lack of high school civics instruction, a 24-hour news cycle and politicized propaganda in place of reasoned discussion are all to blame for an American electorate that is very likely the least informed in the history of the country.
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought," President John F. Kennedy once said, as posted by talk radio host Dave Hodges on his web site. That truth seems self evident in today's America.
Hodges, in his blog post, went on to note that a lawyer often writes to him stressing that the trick to turning the country around is to teach our youth the Constitution (civics). As Hodges typically responds, our youth first have to be able to read and understand our founding document.
That's a great point. According to this report from Campus Reform, today's average college student only reads at a 7th-grade level.
"We are spending billions of dollars trying to send students to college and maintain them there when, on average, they read at about the grade 6 or 7 level, according to Renaissance Learning's latest report on what American students in grades 9-12 read, whether assigned or chosen," education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky told Breitbart Texas.
Just how stupid are we?
A professor emerita at the University of Arkansas, Stotsky served on the Common Core Validation Committee in 2009 and 2010, at which time she described the standards as "inferior." Furthermore, she claimed that the Common Core standards omitted the very elements necessary to prepare students for higher learning in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
"The average reading level for five of the top seven books assigned as summer reading by 341 colleges using Renaissance Learning's readability formula was rated 7.56 [meaning halfway through seventh grade]," Stotsky said.
Moreover, texts and reading assignments lack "difficulty and complexity" in high school settings, and that can be indicative of what students are expected to read once they enter institutions of (supposedly) higher learning; the studies show that professors are not pushing their students to read at higher, college levels.
"Nor are [colleges] sending a signal to the nation's high schools that high school level reading is needed for college readiness," said Stotsky. "Indeed, they seem to be suggesting that a middle school level of reading is satisfactory, even though most college textbooks and adult literary works written before 1970 require mature reading skills."
Hodges says parents also need to be very discriminatory when it comes to where they send their children to school. If possible, parents who don't opt to homeschool their kids because they cannot financially do so might want to consider a private or charter school instead, taking care to choose one that uses more challenging curriculum.
"Yes, there are good teachers and great schools still left. However, there are not enough of them. We need to rescue our children from the propaganda of the state, before they are totally taught to love their servitude and educate them in an environment which will honor true knowledge, not blind obedience," Hodges wrote.
Rising level of stupidity has led to poor political choices
Hodges points out that Rick Shenkman, the author of the book Just How Stupid Are We?, found that:
•Just one in five American students know there are 100 U.S. senators.
•Only two out of five citizens can name the three branches of the federal government.
•Only 20 percent of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 read a newspaper daily, while an astonishingly low 11 percent report surfing internet news sites.
•Among 18- to 24-year-old Americans given maps:
◦ 83 percent cannot find Afghanistan on a map
◦ 76 percent cannot find Saudi Arabia
◦ 70 percent cannot find New Jersey
◦ 11 percent cannot find the United States
In addition, just 17 percent of college grads can explain the difference between a free-market economy (which is what the U.S. started out being) and a centrally planned economy (such as China, the former Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela).
With such dismal statistics, it's no wonder the country winds up with some of the political "leaders" we have.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/051399_literacy_education_American_voters.html#ixzz3nVb4eSaz