Jason's Blog

It’s kinda sad where the US seems to be heading…

by on May.03, 2004, under News

I remember when Christian and I were discussing the state of the US, where we were heading, general politics and history. One of the things he said, and I saw it, but didn’t want to believe it, or accept it, was that the US seems to be in a kinda decline. Our sciences in particular have been on the MAJOR downside lately. Some may doubt it, but I’m actually not too surprised, considering many factors here in the US. Slashdot has several things listed on this article, such as maybe decreased emphasis on education, or perhaps too much military spending, but I wonder if it’s another factor: The US has gotten complacent in its role of superpower, and is so focused on past glories, that it’s ignoring the future, ignoring what needs to be done. I can’t help but feel there’s a distinct lack of focus on education, or that life is too easy for many families.

I mean, I look at growing up the way I did, with a major focus on studies, getting good grades, etc. Now, I probably “romanticize” it a bit, but when it comes down to it, my family focused heavily on education and doing well. Part of me wonders if it’s as some of the commentary on slashdot mentions – life is too easy for so many of us, so we don’t value what an education can mean. Or, perhaps it’s just a different social arena – i.e. the nerdy kids getting beat up because they’re trying to do well in school only it’s more serious with the extremism of today.

Education is a possible problem, family environment is possible issue, TV/nintendo is possibly the issue, a lot of things are possible causes of the “declination” of the US. One factor I haven’t even mentioned is Bush’s lack of interest in actual science, vs. made up science that fits his policies. Or perhaps it’s just too much spending in the wrong areas. I don’t know – just I feel life is going to crap here in the US, or in a lot of ways, we’ve lost our drive.

So, gotta ask – what do people think? Has the US lost its drive? Are we getting complacent/decadent? Education thoughts? Am I blowing smoke out my arse or perhaps worried over nothing?


5 Comments for this entry

  • tanya

    education’s been a problem in this country for a lot longer than bush’s presidency.  in our own state, carnahan screwed up a LOT of stuff with some of his education policies – particularly a lot of them that screwed up st. louis.

    my parents and a lot of homeschooling families have *recognized* this education problem for YEARS.  there’s a reason that homeschooling has grown to be an extremely large, dynamic force in this country in the past decade.  in the past ten years, the numbers of homeschoolers in the US have increased astronomically, compared to where they were in the 70s and even the 80s.  When I was pulled out of school in 1st grade, the trend was barely beginning.  now it’s so mainstreamed that practically EVERYONE knows what homeschooling is.  the numbers of homeschoolers at colleges have increased.  the phenomenon has been documented in weekly publications like Time and Newsweek – it’s a BIG deal these days.

    the National Geographic Society noted sixteen years ago that there was a problem with the education system, and that was one reason why the Geography Bee was born.  sure, they weren’t saying “our educational system has a problem,” – they were more talking about hte lack of geography in the educational system, but it comes down to a similar idea:  there are holes and gaps in the nation’s public school system, and it’s been that way for a loong time.

    in the past ten years, there’s been major movements towards charter schools, magnet schools, and a lot of people fighting to be able to choose which school their kid gets to go to.  private school enrollment is up, homeschooling is up – and these are all key indicators that something’s wrong with the state of education in the States.

    it’s not new.  in fact, it’s a rather old problem.  for years, american students have been achieving below their european and asian counterparts when it comes to math and science.  you are right that there is a problem, it’s just that this problem ain’t new, and it’s not bush’s fault entirely.

  • Jason McIntosh

    Actually, one quick comment – I don’t blame Bush for the education problem – I blame our government for that.  What I do blame bush for is what he’s done to national sciences.  A LOT of the most prominent scientists have complained VERY loudly about how science is being ignored by the current administration, or its outright altered or falsified for political ends.

    New York Times has had several articles on this issue, particularly if you look at things like the environmental impact studies of numerous research groups.  This is one of the reasons Bush drives me nuts – I respect his views on Christianity, and such, but on most things, I think he tends to be too conservative and bigoted, and won’t look at evidence when it’s right in front of him. 

    Case in point – the Iraq war – I think he made a huge mistake jumping in like he did, particularly without support from numerous other nations.  This is a messed up situation.  I support our troops – hell, most of my friends are military, and I tried to join the military.  I don’t support how he’s using the military, and his foreign policies, or lack of decent foreign policies.  International views on Bush are very very bad, and I can see why – I just don’t understand why so many people think he’s great.  But, I could do a whole post/rant on Bush alone….

  • Tania

    I have a friend that was homeschooled, who basically can’t even begin to enter college, because she wasn’t taught properly, and what she was taught, isn’t correct (she was taught to NOT believe in evolution, to think of it as “crazy hippie bullshit, from a bunch of damn treehuggers” or something..lol..which is crazy, but that’s what her family honestly believed!  They hated me, vehemenently, because I cared about the environment and didn’t like it when Angie’s mom decided to randomly go outside and take pot shots at little birds for getting into her dog’s food.  I mean, really, how stupid is that?  You leave your food for your dog outside, of course something is going to get into it, it doesn’t give you a right to SHOOT that thing.  Jeezus.. anyhow.. people like that homeschooling their kids, scare the living crap out of me.  Angie turned out okay, but she is lacking in all areas of education, and couldn’t enter college without getting another high school (at least) education to make up for her wasted years of being taught by her mother, who doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground.  lol

    Anyhow….on the education thing:  I think a lot of it is just how we deal with our kids..  Japanese kids would lose honor to their families if they weren’t good in school, while as kids over here, a lot of kids don’t care about “honor” or their family as a whole.  They don’t seem to have that intrinsic value for the people in their family that Japanese people have.. sort of like the N. Americans.. if they didn’t do what was right, they were shunned, and most Americans just figure “oh he’s a slacker, big deal” if a kid doesn’t do good in school..they don’t actually shun the kid.  So I think a lot of that sort of thing is culture and how we just kind of let kids off the hook.  Bush.. really hasn’t done anything for education though.. so it’s kind of annoying that he really hasn’t even hardly glanced at it.  I’ve been studying to be a teacher and one thing I don’t like is “no child left behind”.. personally it’s a pain in the ass.. part of the reason I don’t want to be a regular teacher, I want to be a professor.  That’s not to say I don’t value education and teaching people how to do things even if they have problems with the concept, but I just don’t have the patience to deal with it.  LOL Plus, there are always the kids who screw around, or pretend they have something wrong, (and I’ve seen ones who do it) that I just don’t want to have to deal with.  I don’t see how any teacher can teach a child that doesn’t WANT to learn.. they have to have that open mind to fill, before you can fill it.  *sigh*

    Blah blah blah :p

  • tanya

    but for every one instance of bad homeschooling, there are one or two instances to counteract it.  i was homeschooled through high school and aced the ACT and SAT; graduated with honors from Mizzou.  every other homeschooler I ever knew did even better, graduating early and going to places like Notre Dame.  there are bad instances, but there are many many good ones,too.

  • Sailor B

    Scientific analyses of tangible evidence provide stronger support for the Holy Bible and its literal, six-day account of creation than all of the evolutionary theories combined.  If you don’t believe me, see for yourself:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org

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