Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Clueless in America"

" 'We have one of the highest dropout rates
in the industrialized world,'

said Allan Golston, the president of U.S. programs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a discussion over lunch recently he described the situation as 'actually pretty scary, alarming.' ”

Bob Herbert's column (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/opinion/22herbert.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin) in today's New York Times continues:
"Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it’s widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900."

Not only are literacy statistics nationwide very little improved, if at all, but historical literacy statistics, too, are dismal. That is why the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance has created OUR WHITE HOUSE:LOOKING IN, LOOKING OUT, an incomparable collection of original poetry, nonfiction, essay, historical fiction, and art about American History using the White House as its unifying theme. Created for adults to share with the young people in their lives Our White House addresses both literacy and historical literacy, exciting young people ages 9-16 about our nation's rich heritage, inspiring them to read more. Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, will be published September 9, 2008.

Mr. Herbert also writes:
" We don’t hear a great deal about education in the presidential campaign. It’s much too serious a topic to compete with such fun stuff as Hillary tossing back a shot of whiskey, or Barack rolling a gutter ball."

The NCBLA agrees and encourages you to write to your chosen presidential candidate to demand that issues related to education not only become part of the national election conversation, but that the candidates give voice to their ideas and solutions that address serious educational issues.

Contact your chosen candidates and your political party to insist that educational issues be taken as seriously as health and economic issues. Education is at the core of every problem we need to solve.

Contact Presidential candidates and national political parties:

Democratic Party website and contact info:

Republican Party website and contact info:

Presidential Candidates websites and contact information:

Hilary Clinton:

John McCain

Barack Obama

For more information go to the NCBLA activist pages at: http://www.thencbla.org/BPOSpages/becomeactivist.html

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