Two-thirds of Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told the crowd that packed into a Boise State ballroom to hear her Thursday.
About one-third can name the three branches of government. Fewer than one-fifth of high school seniors can explain how citizen participation benefits democracy.
"Less than one-third of eighth-graders can identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence, and it's right there in the name," she said.
O'Connor touted civics education during her keynote address at the "Transforming America: Women and Leadership in the 21st Century" conference, put on by the Andrus Center for Public Policy. She also described being a female lawyer in the 1950s, and challenged her listeners to help the next generation of leaders reach their goals.
O'CONNOR ON CIVICS
"The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance," O'Connor said.
That ignorance starts in the earliest years of a child's schooling, she said, but often continues all the way through college and graduate school.
O'Connor argued that learning about citizenship is just as important for American children as learning multiplication or how to write their names.
"We have to ensure that our citizens are well informed and prepared to face tough challenges," she said. "If there is a single child not learning about civics or not being exposed to what they must do as citizens, then all our lives are poorer for that."
To combat what she sees as a dangerous lack of civics in
schools, O'Connor founded icivics.org, a website for educators and
students. The site uses games, lesson plans and activities to make
learning about government and citizenship less boring. (continue reading at McClatchy)
So what should be done to correct this problem? I don't see government schools changing the course they are on, so teaching children true civics lessons will be up to parents, private schools, home schools. The government doesn't like these solutions and is pushing back on parents who home school.
Another problem is that too many parents don't know the correct answers to the questions O'Connor poses. The website icivics.org is interesting, check it out.
Rush Limbaugh has his new book, which is advertised for children but most adults would benefit from reading also, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans.
I'm betting this is the first in a series of books by Limbaugh, and that is a very good thing. Rush Revere deals with the accurate history of this great nation, the United States of America. You can pre-order it now. Books will be available the end of October. Perfect timing for Christmas presents or even Thanksgiving presents.
I should have included information on the new Common Core Initiative Standards or the Common Core Curriculum that is being force into schools this year.
If you are not familiar with it, you should be, and I am providing links below that will fill you in on this awful idea.
A critique of the program here, via Maggie's Notebook. Short excerpt below:
Little by little the stealth behind Common Core Initiative Standards (CCIS) is coming to light. Last month, in Naive, Deceived, Not Paying Attention? Controlling Your Child’s Mind I said you, as a parent, cannot escape the Obama administration’s Common Core through private schooling or homeschooling your children. Does creating an “Office of Non-Public Schools” that is publicly funded make sense to you? There’s a big bite out of your child’s learning coming your way. This program is not known a “Exceptional Core,” or “High-Achieving Core.” Think of “Common Core” as “Ordinary Core,” or “Less than Exceptional Core,” “Pass Everyone Core.” (continue reading)
Also here at Right Truth by Tabitha Korol: