Letters to editor

What kids don’t know would shock you

By From page A11 | July 30, 2014

A good way to find out what high school graduates have or have not learned in public schools is simply quiz them whenever and wherever possible.

For example, I’ve asked many high school graduates various questions, such as, “If I can buy 20 chicken McNuggets for $5, how much am I paying for each McNugget?” With regard to the Fourth of July, I asked many graduates, “Why do we celebrate July 4?”

Not one graduate knew the cost for each McNugget. If you don’t believe me, conduct similar samples for yourself. Only several knew the name of the country America fought against for our independence. Most knew it was Independence Day, but beyond that, duh?

I prefer not to provide other similar examples because I believe many parents simply don’t care about the quality of education their children receive in public schools or perhaps parents feel overwhelmed by the federal government’s intrusive control over the education system nationwide, and feel helpless.

I know I could have easily computed the cost of each McNugget mentally when I was in the sixth grade. But that was in 1955, when schools forced students to learn math and other important curriculums, and before the federal Department of Education and the teachers’ unions successfully reduced what was “quality” education to today’s “dysfunctional” or “maligned” education, or both.

Anti-Christianity, anti-capitalism, anti-Americanism and pro-socialism, pro-Muslim, and pro-Islam were unknown topics in the classrooms in 1955.

If I had a child in today’s public school system, I would spearhead a nationwide lawsuit against the federal Department of Education. The lawsuit objective would be to get the federal government entirely, completely and totally out of the education business, period.

“We the people” should decide the education our children get, not the federal government.

Earl Hood


Letter to the Editor


Discussion | 40 comments

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  • Rudy MadronichJuly 30, 2014 - 12:17 am

    This is just the result of the dumbing down of American youth and to indoctrinate them to think that Government is the answer. Well some one said Government is not the solution to our problem Government is the problem.

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  • Danny BuntinJuly 30, 2014 - 8:46 am

    "Well some one said Government is not the solution to our problem Government is the problem." - Reagan said it, but Regan wrote it. Then deregulation coupled with the Lee Atwaters of the world started to brainwash the middle class into believing the poor is the cause of all the economic problems. While the Rudys' of the world carry water for billionaires.

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  • rlw895July 30, 2014 - 5:29 pm

    A greater falsehood was never uttered by any president in our lifetimes. And I remember "Mission Accomplished." Throw that one away, Rudy, and enter the real world.

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  • The SugarJarJuly 30, 2014 - 5:11 am

    I'm not convinced that "asking them" is the best way to find out what these younger folks know.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 30, 2014 - 5:37 am

    Yeah, I think you get the "DUH award" here Mr. Hood. Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't mention your FOX-ism silliness.

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  • DanielJuly 30, 2014 - 6:27 am

    The Demos have infested our capital and have controlled education for a very long time, their single goal is to remain entrenched forever. Dumbing down students and education to be always be future "D" ballot box checkers is their strategy. The Demos " education" includes indoctrinating students with LGBT, Harvey Day, climate change and to protect their campaign donating teachers unions which shields mediocre teachers ( ironically they like other public unions recycle our own tax dollars in campaign contributions to beat us with out own money). Teaching math, science, real history and especially English are not emphasized they defeat the Demos of developing their ballot box checkers. Before the air headed partisan hacks rant that I'm parroting a FOXism, I don't watch FOX I actually try to stomach watching the petty and horrible MSNBC shows with all the nuts, that's how I develop my thoughts.

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  • PornacJuly 30, 2014 - 7:33 am

    We should be sending all kids to good Morman schools where no indoctrination exists.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 4:45 pm

    Pornac: Actually, the LDS are great supporters of public education. Are there any Mormon schools?

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  • Voter IDJuly 30, 2014 - 8:19 am

    CDBrooks all you ever have is fox-ism you never have any thing to say that has any value. You are the typical liberal and I will bet that you do not want every one to show proper and valid ID when they vote to prove who they are.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 30, 2014 - 9:33 am

    Voter ID you're just not very bright but then you don't have to be when hiding. Number one I bring solid quality factual information EVERY time I write. Number two, I have stated on several occasions, I support voter ID. Next?

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  • Voter IDJuly 30, 2014 - 10:57 am

    CD Brooks I guess we have found common ground on voter id that is as long as the government does not have to pay for it. If a person wants to vote they can get an id on their own do you agree or disagree

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  • CD BrooksJuly 30, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    Voter ID, since my last comment got booted, I'll rephrase. Stop asking me stup...no can't use that. Dum, no can't use that. Id*o no, can't use that either. Stop asking me questions and bring something that might interest these folks.

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  • ? will this postJuly 30, 2014 - 2:18 pm

    Latin Words for Pompous: inflatus ..... Book suggestion for you...... Walter Canis Inflatus: Walter the Farting Dog, Latin-Language Edition (Latin Edition) (Latin) Hardcover – July 8, 2004 by William Kotzwinkle you inflatus vipera

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  • ?July 30, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Insult me back CD and I will go away again....... otherwise your new Nickname is Walter.... OK w/you?

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  • Voter IDJuly 30, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    This is how CD Brooks works when he does not have an answer he will use misdirection, or avoid giving an answer and then the name calling. Just like liberals do. So by his lack of answering we can all see he does not want every one to provide a valid id when voting. CD Brooks you are a piece of work

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    ID: CD and I agree about voter IDs. It's you who are a piece of work with no response. Do we have to go through the whole discussion again? As expected, you leave one room where you find yourself cornered only to go into another where you start your diatribe all over again.

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  • Voter I'dJuly 30, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Rick. So you are ok with voter fraud? I am not ok with it. If a person wants to vote they should show proper ID.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 5:33 pm

    ID: So here we go, AGAIN. No one is "OK" with voter fraud. What do you do about vote-by-mail?

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  • Rick Wood http://www.dailyrepublic.com/opinion/localopinioncolumnists/its-clear-israel-wants-west-bank-not-peace/July 30, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Anyone interested in my last discussion with VID when he "left the room" only to pop up here, see the link.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 31, 2014 - 5:35 am

    Voter ID, and this is how Conservatives work. I answered your question straight away yet you continue with this nonsense. I never run, always have an honest answer and I don't hide behind an alias. Wise up and bring something sensible.

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  • Rick WoodAugust 01, 2014 - 11:18 am

    CD: Looks like VID has now left this room as well, probably unrepentant and going to pop up again in some other room with the same Republican line of voter disenfranchisement (Democratic) masquerading as anti-voter fraud. What ABOUT vote-by-mail?!? Anyone serious about voter fraud would start there. But guess what, Republicans vote by mail in greater numbers than Democrats, and Democrats don't think getting to the fraud is worth the disenfranchisement of people who can't get to the polls or find it more convenient to vote by mail.

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  • BobJuly 30, 2014 - 6:31 am

    No mention of Pete Wilson's reelection problem with the teachers union. Pete wanted their backing, teachers said no. The Lottery was just starting and the teachers thought there would be a lot of money coming in No Pete gave the schools the Lottery money, but withheld an equal amount from the normal school budget, thus never raising the level of money the schools received Who ever is running the Teachers union has got to be making money but it never seems to as Reagan put it " trickle down" to the rank and file, but when the head needs something he gets the flocks feathers ruffled. The Teachers I met, not all by any means, when my kids went to school either had no street smarts or were so wrapped up in themselves that they were all that mattered. It's hard enough to present learning as interesting to kids without overcoming those types of teachers shortfalls

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  • rlw895July 30, 2014 - 6:40 am

    Yet America's system of higher education remains the envy of the world. Products of the American education system create innovations that drive the world economy. We produce more than our share of Nobel lauriettes. The creativity of our arts and sciences remain unsurpassed. All this angst over one letter-writer's unscientific and unproven survey.

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  • rlw895July 30, 2014 - 9:37 pm


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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 6:43 am

    Earl should try a survey that shows he knows more about cell phones than the average high school graduate.

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  • Larry WJuly 30, 2014 - 7:30 am

    I would be curious to find out how recent graduates would do on a basic knowledge survey. It would be a great idea for someone from the daily republic to do.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 8:40 am

    And then test other, older age groups of HS grads.

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  • TJ BairdJuly 30, 2014 - 7:05 am

    It has been eight years since our youngest graduated from high school, so I'm not sure I can be accurate in saying what they are learning in school. However, I do think that there is a prevailing attitude that I don't need to "learn" I can just look it up on my cell phone. And we all know that whatever you find on the internet is correct! We seem to be reducing learning to trivia, with little understanding that "facts" do not create educated people, but rather being able to integrate those "facts" with real life is a true education.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 8:49 am

    HIgh school in America is to keep kids alive and out of jail until they can either get a job or go on to college where the real learning happens. That's facetious, but there is truth in "Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten." It is also true that there is a downside in America of placing too much emphasis on conformity. The reason we lead the world in so many areas is our freedom to be different; to fail, pick ourselves up, and try all over again; and to succeed beyond the wildest expectations. It's not until a kid really understands the value of education that things take off, and that can take a while is many cases. And for some kids, education--using a rigid definition of it--just isn't valuable and never will be. Those are the ones that end up owning their own businesses!

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  • TJ BairdJuly 30, 2014 - 10:18 am

    Rick, I wish it were the case that all those who don't value education end up owning and running their own businesses. If your comment was autobiographical you are very much the exception and way to go! Unfortunately, most of the group that doesn't value an education end up not contributing to society but usually depending on it instead.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    TJ: Not autobiographical, but I have high hopes for my son! I was being a bit facetious again, but it is true that many small business owners were not great students. People with learning disabilities heavily populate our prisons. Many people know that. But what they don't know is they--the lucky ones--also disproportionally populate other, successful groups, including the risk-takers known as entrepreneurs.

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  • TJ BairdJuly 30, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    Rick, We certainly need more entrepreneurs in our country!! Hope your son can reach his and your dreams for his life.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    Thanks. 20 and still not in jail!

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  • Rudy MadronichJuly 30, 2014 - 10:52 am

    Rick:The problem I see with what you said about our freedom to fail and pick ourself up and try all over again is that the government will not let you fail they do not want to hold people responceable for their own action. We no longer allow kids in sports to fail you can only score so many runs or goals or points because the kids on the loosing team will feel bad. Win or loose every one gets a trophy. In school even if you get the math problem wrong as long as you feel good about getting the answer wrong and can show how you got the wrong answer you will pass. Tell me how does that help the kids. The real world is not like that. An emploper will want you to know what 2 plus 2 is. But the government is saying that you still have to employ that person even if you can not do the job and when the company fails the government will provide for you so you do not have to work. Sounds a lot like communism.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 30, 2014 - 11:06 am

    Rudy, you were doing okay until you said the government says we have to hire people that can't add or are unqualified. That's a lie. The communism comment is indicative of your disdain for this administration. Try and stick to the truth if that's possible.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 30, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Rudy: Our government won't let people fail? Are you serious? We have prisons bursting, a huge homeless problem, poverty all around us. It's all because our government DOES let people fail. It doesn't have to be that way. I'd like to see the government to provide a floor to failure higher than it is now while still providing freedom to succeed. But we have too many people who live in a fantasy world where they think the government already does too much, a world where the government "won't let people fail."

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  • JudithJuly 30, 2014 - 9:23 am

    Earl, you sound like an out of touch person who is not liked by young people. My nieces and nephews are teenagers and they know more about certain things than I do and they are kind to me when I ask for help. If you ask them to divide $5.00 by 20 they could do it. But I suspect the teenagers you talk to want to get away from you as quick as possible and just shrug when you talk at them. I know I would have.

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  • Who knows......July 30, 2014 - 9:40 am

    Well, I think it might have to do with motivation. As with every age group, there are those that excel, most stay average, and those that just want to get by. Also, I think, a lot of it has to do with "WIIFM (Wif-em)-What's In It For Me.' A lot of times there is no explanation of why you need to know it, it's just presented. Is America being dumbed down? Probably. Do we still have the best education? Still up for discussion.

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  • Old schoolJuly 30, 2014 - 10:16 am

    The article reveals a lot of truth, but let's not forget who can teach us a thing or two about computer functions, I-phones, and saving gas by riding bicycles! The younger generation has positive attributes, but they can keep their "pop culture, and broken, dysfunctional families.

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  • Jason KnowlesJuly 30, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Wow, one anecdotal story and Earl is an expert on public education. I'd like to know, whom did he ask? Under what circumstances? Were they actual graduates? Just another pi$$ed of conservative whose losing his once firm grip on reality as he inches closer and closer to being irrelevant.

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