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Your Opinion: Downward spiral in education

Your Opinion: Downward spiral in education

October 30th, 2013 by Harold H. Horstmann, Lohman in News

Dear Editor:

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on Oct. 18 released the initial results of an international survey of adult skills in literacy and mathematics, revealing that Americans rank 21st in "numeracy" and are tied for 15th in literacy among adults in 23 advanced economies. The countries ranking at the bottom in both categories were Italy and Spain. (Re:

"Numeracy" was defined by the survey as "the ability to access, use, interpret, and communicate mathematical information and ideas, to engage in and manage mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life."

"Literacy" was defined by the survey as "understanding, evaluating, using and engaging with written text to participate in society to achieve one's goals and to develop one's knowledge and potential."

Of the 5,000 Americans surveyed, 112 people were unable to complete the survey's initial background questionnaire because of literacy.

Since the 1970s, liberals supported by the U.S. Dept. of Education and their teacher's union accomplices, have inserted fairness and self-esteem as a priority over academic excellence and occupational preparation. Now, in usual government and liberal fashion, after 40 years of failure let's try something else, let's establish Common Core State Standards (CCSS). All I know is it sounds like a program as confusing, expensive probably as big of a boondoggle as Obamacare.

It seems to me to be a downward spiral on a slippery slope. The less educated the voting public is, the easier it is to dupe them into accepting pie-in-the-sky educational programs the liberals say they need. The more programs the liberals introduce, the less educated the voting public becomes and then become more receptive to more programs and on and on. The perfect plan to gain more power and control.

Think about it. We've twice elected the most unqualified and inept president ever. Our budget and debt limit negotiations were a fiasco and I'm sure the advanced economies watched with amusement.

Unless we return our educational system back to local control by parents and teachers that can be fired for less than acceptable standards of performance and behavior then we will continue to be on the path to the likes of Italy and Spain.