Copernicus’ grave would be revolving around the 16th Century astronomer if he read the results of a new report on Americans’ understanding of basic science.
More intel I dug out of the report:
The good news? Americans have never scored higher on the science and technology survey, scores are slowly improving and 80 percent says they are interested in “new scientific discoveries.”
In 2012, Americans were able to correctly answer 65 percent of science questions, up from 63 percent in 2010.
Those who had not completed high school answered on 45 percent of the nine science questions correctly. Those with a bachelor’s degree answered correctly 78% of the time.
Curiously, 44 percent of Europeans, who are alleged to have a better educational system than the U.S., thought the Earth was the center of the solar system. When it comes to evolution, however, 70 percent of Europeans and 66 percent of those surveyed in China were believers.
Some of the data points above shocked me, and, once again, I questioned how other people can be so wrong about what I presumed were basic facts.
Are schools to blame? Parents? Children? Society?
It is easiest to blame schools, the largest taxing authority in most of our lives, but if your kid is in high school and believes the Earth is the center of the solar system, you need to look in a mirror and/or pick up a book yourself.
The New York Post has a somewhat related story about a “fail factory” teacher that taught every subject imaginable.
NYC teacher Alexis Pajares taught “algebra, biology, chemistry, Chinese, English, Spanish, earth science, economics, government, health, history and law” to 475 students in one semester, the Post writes.
He was able to teach that many students because all of the classes were online. Students take all their tests at home and some reportedly pay other students to take tests for them.
After the Post story ran, administrators at the school encouraged students in the “blended studies” program to email complaints to the newspaper, which gleefully published the grammar-filled abominations.
One student wrote: ““What do you get of giving false accusations im one of the students that has blended learning I had a course of English and I passed and and it helped a lot you’re a reported your support to get truth information other than starting rumors . . .”
Another said online classes are better than traditional class work and “you can digest in the information at your own paste.”
Maybe the teachers should have written the letters?
Or maybe those are the teachers?
I’m starting to see why homeschooling is so popular.
More news plucked from the Interwebs: