The Times Journal & Russell County News
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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In My Opinion ... by Ron Phillips
In April 9 Issue

"Stupid is as stupid does!"  These words were made famous in the movie Forrest Gump. The other day I heard someone mention just how ignorant our children have become.  

A survey conducted in Oklahoma with 1,000 public high school students seems to support that position.  In September of 2009, one source wrote "Almost every Oklahoma public high school student failed a basic citizenship test based on a recent telephone survey.

Only one in four could name the country's first president. In fact, only 2.8 percent of the students correctly answered six of 10 questions. Candidates for U.S. citizenship are required to answer six of 10 questions correctly to become citizens. The success rate for immigrants taking the latest citizenship test was 92.4 percent". Here are the questions that were asked…

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

2. What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?

3. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?

4. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

5. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

6. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?

7. What are the two major political parties in the U.S.?

8. We elect a U.S. senator for how many years?

9. Who was the first president of the United States?

10. Who is in charge of the executive branch?

Folks, I find it to be a sad day when only one in four kids knows who our first president was. I challenge all who read this column to conduct your own survey with your children and yourself.

Please understand that it is my opinion that our leaders, school administrators and teachers have an obligation to our children to see this does not happen. As parents, we have an obligation to verify and be involved in our children's education.

Now I fully realize that there are many fine people like my father that are a causality of poor education, but I believe all will agree that there are certainly need to address the success and failures of our current system.

Thomas Jefferson warned that no nation can remain ignorant and free.  It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that education or lack of is one of the primary reasons that our country is in the shape that it is in today.

I do want to be clear however that there are many fine teachers out there that are doing their best to not let the above mentioned shortfalls happen, but they need our support.

I had the privilege of working for a man that had a very simple philosophy, "Expect what you inspect".  Most of us have heard they old saying if you "Assume" something is happening. It can make a hind end out of you and me.

For the benefit of some of you that may have been short changed on your education like my father, here are the answers to the ten questions listed above. Please do your kids, grandkids and yourself a favour, make sure they know the answers to all ten questions?

Teachers, I hope you will also take up my challenge. Our freedom is at stake!

1. The Constitution

2. The Bill of Rights

3. Senate and House

4. Nine

5. Thomas Jefferson

6. Atlantic Ocean

7. Republicans and Democrats

8. Six

9. George Washington

10. The president

Thank you for reading "In My Opinion".


May God Bless…

Ron Phillips

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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P.O. Box 190
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Russell Springs KY 42642
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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