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How long will it take for the U.S. to become completely illiterate on a big picture scale?
Let's face it, the US has plummeted on the world education rankings (We're ranked as low as 25th out of 34 ranked countries in Math. That's dismal)... What do you think is the cause of this?
I was going through a recent topic where the USA administration back-lashed the immigrants and wanted to make sure the real natives of the country becomes enough capable in terms of literacy and scientific approaches. After reading this topic, I feel like a big joke. They have no clear cut estimation about what education the USA people are receiving. They are receiving good education infrastructure...but not enriching their gray matter. They are receiving all resources....but not making their brains enough resourceful.
Till date, the USA everyday affairs are being managed the immigrants and they are crooning 'kick out the immigrants from usa'. This year the H1B visa became stricter and welcoming talented people from outside is on all time low.
I do not say that USA will turn into a heaven of the illiterates. But definitely the rate of literates is not picking up.
If they keep firing teachers and if Sarah Palin becomes president, illiteracy will rise rapidly.
As an educator from Australia, I'm inclined to ask myself that same question. We were second to Norway on this same scale fifteen-twenty years ago, and now we're sliding down into the same morass you are discussing. Here's my take on the whole situation. Australia has taken on board the same limiting and narrow approach to discovering how children perform on standardised tests as the US. Funding is then appropriated to schools based on these outcomes. Is this sounding familiar to you? Governments are now introducing bonuses for teachers, when their students perform at a given percentile on these tests. Yep! That's the way to ensure each child has equitable access to a good education. (Sheldon from the Big Bang wouldn't even need to ask if that is sarcasm.)
To retain jobs teachers will take the road that leads their students to success. Success on the standarised tests! This very narrow band of instruction limits the srategies and information that are presented to students. It also limits their ability to complete tests, simply because they don't have or haven't been given the opportunity to develop other strategies that are also needed to successfully undertake this style of testing.
Establishing the extent of illiteracy or literacy within a population should not be limited to quantitative testing of a limited demographic. Why not test adults operating within the community and discover their level of functional literacy? This would be the truist indicator of the success of an education system.
Looking back, abundant data exist from states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to show that by 1840 the incidence of complex literacy in the United States was between 93 and 100 percent wherever such a thing mattered. According to the Connecticut census of 1840, only one citizen out of every 579 was illiterate and you probably don't want to know, what people in those days considered literate; it's too embarrassing.
Popular novels of the period give a clue: Last of the Mohicans, published in 1826, sold so well that a contemporary equivalent would have to move 10 million copies to match it. If you pick up an uncut version you find yourself in a dense thicket of philosophy, history, culture, manners, politics, geography, analysis of human motives and actions, all conveyed in data-rich periodic sentences so formidable only a determined and well-educated reader can handle it nowadays. Yet in 1818 we were a small-farm nation without colleges or universities to speak of. Could those simple folk have had more complex minds than our own? Excerpt from "Underground History of American Education," John Taylor Gatto.
I'd give it another year or two. Our schools are already the worst schools in the WORLD. How sad is that?
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