This was on the news a couple of days ago (from AP) about American kids' knowledge of geography:
- One-third of respondents couldn't pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi. (My response: Maybe they thought Katrina and Rita scrubbed them off the face of the earth.)
- Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
- Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East. ( I would bet they couldn’t even show you the general area of the Middle East on a map.)
- While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia. ( They had better learn; they might have to go there for a job one day.)
- While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East. (If Iran gets it’s way, there won’t BE an Israel, so the point is moot as Reverend Jackson would say.)
- Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico. (If only this were true. Sigh.)
I joke about having gone to Louisiana public schools but this is just sad, although I can’t speak a second language either. Heck, with my drawling accent I might not even qualify as speaking English.