Friday, March 10, 2006

Where Are the Globes ???

These figures were just jumping off the monitor screen, and spacing me out...

Twelve per cent of high school seniors in the United States could not locate the continental boundaries of the USA on a world map or globe.

Nearly 25 per cent had never seen a globe.

In New York, a survey of college seniors in the Rochester and Buffalo areas did not know who George Pataki was–the two term governor of New York recently beset by ill health.

No figures were given for how many could read the "Run, Dick, Run" primers. (They are not even used any more.)

But, hold on!

When I went to Google and typed in "English, Civics Literacy", I was directed to—hold onto your seat—391,000 sites...ALL of the first pages devoted to state and federal movements and programs for "English Language and Civics Literacy" for Immigrants and New Americans.

But alas, I found no "initiatives" to press the government schools to improve the language and civics information flow to our elementary and high school population.

It is, of course, MY obsession, not yours. I will be gone before the people of this country realize what has happened.

Always the Egoist, I admit, I am "driven" to remember as a teen aged high school junior, running into a burning "Black" schoolhouse in 1940 to retrieve a large world globe, before the flames engulfed and destroyed the school. No one paid much attention.

No one paid any attention, either, to the fact that the "Black", segregated school had only nine grades.

Nor did anyone gripe about the "White" school in my town having only eleven grades. We had two foreign languages (if you count Latin) and plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. It was better than most any public high school today. More demanding, anyway.

Every high school graduate knew the name of the governor, both senators and our congressman. Most of us could name and locate all the states and capitals. William Shadburn and I played a game, alphabetically naming the states and capitals alphabetically. I could never remember Frankfort, Kentucky. He lost out on Carson City, Nevada. We lnew Tom Paine and Dr. Benjamin Rush intimately. We fenced with Bible verses every morning.

So, I ask you...Where are the Globes ????

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