As you can see from the linked article, by John Hachinger, from Bloomberg, U.S. Teens Lag as China Soars on International Test, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-07/teens-in-u-s-rank-25th-on-math-test-trail-in-science-reading.html, the U.S. ranked well below the Elite Countries within the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), for fifteen year olds, released for 2009. Chances are that it has not changed much since.
Surely, you’ve heard the term “Dumbing Down of America”. Voters don’t seem to really comprehend the issues separating the candidates and seem to focus on the Talking Points of whatever Cable Guru they follow. They sheepishly follow politiucal sound-bites. And, some of the more popular TV shows are the so-called “Reality Shows”, which seem to have no semblance to reality whatsoever. So, how long was Kim actually “Married”?
The linked article, from Forbes (hardly a Liberal Magazine), by John T. Harvey, The Terrifying Texas GOP Platform, http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2012/07/01/texas-gop-platform/, merely points out a popular theme among some: Critical Thinking–the idea of “challenging what has always been” should not be tolerated, in Texas, since it would challenge the parents’ authority. That’s sheer nonsense if we are going to regain a position in the top of the OECD Educational Ranking.
Is this an attempt to, once again, push the Religious Envelope? I don’t know; but, I surely don’t think that it is pushing the Education Enverlope. Just think of where we would be if: Newton did’t wonder why apples fell down (rather than up); Descartes didn’t establish The Calculus; Einstein didn’t wonder about Time and Distance and the Wright Brothers didn’t journey to Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Recently, Republicans have attacked President Obama for saying that Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t succeed on their own. It’s too bad that they didn’t listen to what he ACTUALLY said. He mentioned that the Nationwide Highway System literally paved the way for Mr. Ford (and others) to succeed. Likewise, Television evolved from US Government Research, as did the Internet.
Where would any of these ideas be without Critical Thinking–literally Thinking Outside the Box. So, let’s turn our kids loose. Don’t we all want them to do better than we have? If we aare truly to re-gain our standing among the Elite Countries, we do have to keep working at it.