Letter: Obama’s audiences
The venue for Obama’s appearance and remarks on immigration on January 29th was Del Sol High School in Clark County, Nevada. Its student body is characterized as nearly 80 percent minority (Hispanic) and 44 percent "disadvantaged." The teacher/student ratio is 1:25. The students who are termed "college ready" are rated "below Nevada average," 11 percent have tested for AP classes at the school, 5 percent qualified. The math scores are also "below Nevada average," but 74 percent are termed proficient. As for writing skills, there are no statistics available.
I know, we’re not supposed to pick on children, but these are high school children and were used by a politician for backdrop during that politician’s remarks on a contentious issue facing America. In a year or less, many in that backdrop if they’re citizens will be old enough to vote. Remember that point because these were the folks Obama chose to spend $1.4 million of our tax dollars to fly to from Washington, D.C., and speak to about immigration and then fly back.
In a country where public education is laughed at and parents seek alternatives, Obama finds his audience at a sub-par high school. It’s a scene he repeats and has repeated often among a population that cannot answer simple questions about their country’s history or governing principles, but which is equipped with cellular phones and Facebook pages, and can tell you blow by blow what some pop star is doing at any time of day and repeat the lyrics of their latest hit. Doubt me on the history part? Then ask your teen or college grad for that matter, "who’s known as the father of the U.S. Constitution?" or "define what a profit is." Hint: it’s a subtraction problem. (And there’s a strong possibility that their teacher doesn’t know the right answers either.)
If readers are embarrassed at not knowing the answers themselves, try Google. For the rest of us, these circumstances of the state of our civic illiteracy—and not the winter weather—are the reasons why you’re feeling so glum about the country’s future. There’s work to be done all around! After all, have you asked anyone lately to name the Ten Commandments?