'Merica Is Stoopids (10/10/13)
From FITSNews: "According to the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies – a research project of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – American adults recorded below average scores on math, reading and problem solving through technology. In fact America's math scores ranked third-worst among those nations surveyed."
Read the report.
Condoleezza Rice: Education Could Be 'Greatest National Security Challenge'
"CONDOLEEZZA RICE: National security is broader than what you can do with your military forces, obviously.
"But, even there, when it comes to the very tangible assets that the United States needs to defend itself, the education of people who can be soldiers, too many people can't qualify for military service...
"Simply can't qualify, when it comes to the foreign service or to intelligence agencies or to the ability to have people who can think about the problems of cyber-warfare and cyber-security and critical infrastructure protection.
"Then, of course, there's the matter of the competitiveness of our economy, people who can fill the jobs and be the innovators of the future, so that the United States maintains its economic edge, and then finally the matter of our social cohesion. The United States, we've always been held together by the belief that it doesn't matter where you came from. It matters where you're going.
"And that is -- absolutely, without education, we cannot maintain that cohesion."
"JEFFREY BROWN: Speaking of that, I heard you talk about that this morning, the social cohesion part. We're sitting here, your report comes out at a time where there's a lot of sense that the game is a little rigged, that public life is unfair, and in education as well."
"JOEL KLEIN: Absolutely...I think both of us feel very strongly that one of the great threats to our national security is social cohesion. If people believe the game is rigged, if people no longer believe that you can start out anywhere and end up at the top successfully in America, that the American dream is part of the past, I think that erodes a sense of belief and confidence in our nation.
"It makes us inward-looking. It makes us envious of other people, all the kinds of things that we have avoided as a people. If that turns against us, then I think our national security will be affected."
"CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Today, the sad fact is that, for the children who have the fewest options, the educational system is not delivering. If I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you're going to get a good education, we've got a real problem...
"And I think, increasingly, if you are a child in difficult circumstances, the neighborhood school may simply not be the answer any longer..."
"JOEL KLEIN: I think we should raise the alarm level. And I think the level of risk is such that, when a secretary of state calls this out as a national security issue, as a major national security issue, I think we need to stop thinking this is somehow a narrow education problem and we will be fine.
"And when you ask about social cohesion, these are big, big issues. And for the first time, more parents think their lives are better than their kids. That's not a winning formula. And so when the secretary talks -- both of us feel deeply about this, because it's our own life's experience."
Facebook's 'dark side': study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism (3/17/12)
"Carol Craig, a social scientist and chief executive of the Centre for Confidence and Well-being, said young people in Britain were becoming increasingly narcissistic and Facebook provided a platform for the disorder.
"'The way that children are being educated is focussing more and more on the importance of self esteem – on how you are seen in the eyes of others. This method of teaching has been imported from the US and is 'all about me...'
"Dr Viv Vignoles, senior lecturer in social psychology at Sussex University, said there was 'clear evidence' from studies in America that college students were becoming increasingly narcissistic.
"But he added: 'Whether the same is true of non-college students or of young people in other countries, such as the UK, remains an open question, as far as I know.
"'Without understanding the causes underlying the historical change in US college students, we do not know whether these causes are factors that are relatively specific to American culture, such as the political focus on increasing self-esteem in the late 80s and early 90s or whether they are factors that are more general, for example new technologies such as mobile phones and Facebook.'"
SC's Epic Academic Failure Gets Even Worse
From FitsNews: "Last spring, we published a list of the 100 worst public schools in America as evaluated by NeighborhoodScout.com. At the time of that report, South Carolina was home to thirty-seven of the nation's 100 worst schools - a figure we thought was pretty much the epitome of an 'epic fail.'
"Well guess what...the Palmetto State not only exceeded that atrocious tally this year, it nearly doubled it. According to the latest NeighborhoodScout.com list, a whopping seventy-two of the 100 worst public schools in America are located in South Carolina.
"That's right...nearly three-quarters of the nation's poorest performing public schools are located within our state’s borders."
SC "Dumbed Down" Update (9/5/11)
From FitsNews: "Two years ago, while South Carolina's taxpayer-funded educrats were blatantly misleading lawmakers and the public regarding changes to our state's costly and ineffective academic assessments (and while the mainstream media was covering for them), this website was sounding the alarm...
"'By moving the goalposts just a little bit, failure magically becomes success...which is sadly the only way South Carolina's worst-in-the-nation public school system ever shows improvement,' we wrote at the time.
"Shortly after this report was published, our analysis was confirmed by the nation's leading testing authority.
"'Use of the lower standards would result in dramatic increases in the percentages of students meeting standards in South Carolina schools, even with no actual improvement in student performance,' an analysis by the Seattle, Washington-based Northwest Evaluation Association concluded."