samedi 26 juillet 2008

The Not so United States of Knowledge

I was flying from Omaha to Cleveland on my way to Paris. When the plane docked, the friendly flight attendant was chatting with a young girl, who said she was in Eigth Grade in Omaha School system. He asked, what is your favourite subject at school. She nonchalantly answered: None. Then he said, mine was history, we wondered why we had to learn history and now i know that to deter us from creating the same errors we must learn history.
then he decided to ask some questions to the girl.. remember she is in Grade 8 and will be entering the High School to complete her high school education.
Which year was the American Independence? I dont know
Who was our first president? I dont remember
Who ran through the streets shouting, RedCoats are coming! stunned silence
Who said: give me liberty or Death. bored and silent
A look of consternation came over the face of the flight attendant. When you go back to your school in Omaha, please tell the teacher that there is something wrong when a Grade 8 student does not know who was the first president of the united states.
Then he kidded her, Who is buried in Grant's tomb. I dont know was the answer.

Those of waiting to get off the plane and listening to the conversation were dumbfounded at the stupidity of the educational system, that this young girl was totally ignorant of the history of her "great" country. I felt ashamed for my american friends.
Even I knew the answers to the questions.

Sad state of affairs: glad he did not ask, which year was the French Revolution? Who said, Le Etat se moi! Who was the first prime minister of India? who was Zhou En Lai?

China and India and Brasil will have no problem of diadvantage over america, where they are educating grade 8 students with no knowledge of anything. No wonder American kids dont do well in science and mathematics as students of their age from Lithuania and Poland..

Shame on You, No kid Left behind facade of American Public School Education.
When I first came to the USA, someone said to me, the best in the world is here so is the worst. There will not be a single 8 grade student in all of Cuba as ignorant as this little girl from Omaha!