American media and academic propagandists like to hype our educational system as 'second to none'. Teachers are held up as national heroes; money is poured into the Academic Establishment with zero accountability (because we can trust such noble spirits implicitly, can't we)?
The US certainly has the world's most expensive public school system---and not coincidentally, also the one most top-heavy with bureaucrats. No one knows what these bureaucrats actually do---but it must be important because they are paid well and never laid off, like teachers are, during periodic budget-cuts.
Let's see what kind of results the Ameroboob gets for his money, shall we?
In 2002, Bush Junior commissioned a 10-year comprehensive study called The National Assessment of Adult Literacy. The results were released in early 2013 and quickly swept under the rug by an embarrassed Obama Administration. Here's what the Assessment found:
Proficient Literacy Skills: 13%
Functional Literacy Skills 44%
Functional Illiteracy 29%
We've used the older terms to describe the skills in lieu of the more sensitive ones the Academic Mafia employed to hide the disgraceful results. The fact is that 43% of Americans can't read the text of this blog page and 87% can't read it and analyze it proficiently.
There were further rather embarrassing details. Despite the fact that public high schools suck up huge percentages of state and federal budgets, a whopping 19% of high school graduates can't read. They go through 12 grades apparently, without our heroic teachers noticing this small defect in their education.
Total Number of Adults who can't read an 8th-Grade textbook: 50%.
Percentage of Families who did not buy a book this year: 80%
Percentage of Adults who haven't been to a bookstore in five years: 70%
This could be a tough one in a nation of drug addicts like ours:
Percentage of Adults who can't understand the labels on prescription bottles: 46%.
It would appear that the 'Dumbing-Down' of our schools is not a myth after all.
So the question naturally arises: why aren't these issues being addressed? Why don't politicians talk about school reform other than to throw more money at the problem? And there's the rub.
Politicians want an ignorant population, because anybody who could think for themselves would examine what they say and hold them accountable. The media wants an ignorant population, because people who are easy prey to propaganda increases their power. Wall Street likes it because it's easy to part ignoramuses from their money and confuse them with their currency-manipulation scams. Of course, the Academic Mafia likes it most of all, because they profit off it.
The danger to our society from national illiteracy ought to be apparent even to the average Ameroboob. But it's obviously not, so we'll have to explain it:
A free society simply cannot exist with a stupid population. It's not possible. The Illiterate and Semi-Literate exist in a realm where emotion, rather that reason, drives conduct---by necessity. In direct proportion to his ignorance, a man is open to the fanatic, the demagogue, the enemies of freedom. Is it any wonder why social pundits speak of a 'divided nation'? It is divided, and will remain so, for the very reason that emotion is not a stable foundation for any public policy.
Can the problem be fixed? It can; but Americans first need to pull their heads out of the sand and face it squarely. More likely it won't be faced until foreign technologies and achievements. That's already happening in some areas; but try and tell that to the Ameroboob (when he's not busy watching College Football).