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Where on earth did you get the impression that Americans are highly educated? Money, or the lack of it, is very decisive with regard to who gets a good education and who doesn't. Many American universities are among the best in the world but there are 300 million Americans. According to Newsweek, an American magazine, 23 percent of them are illiterate.
i totally agree with you. of course, not all americans are dumb. and this is not what i want to say, but the average american is in my opinion not as educated as someone from europe for example. it seems also to depend from which part of america you`re talking, but i know some friends who have been in america, that lots of them are not that highly educated. some didn`t know where to find germany on a map. that`s a pity.
Yes, and I'm sure that you've each been all over the country and had discussions with an appropriate cross-section of each social, political, ethnic, and economic group within the United States before forming your opinions. Emotion: rolleyes

I love how so many people from other parts of the world love chastising Americans for their perceived ignorance, while simultaneously making the assumption that they themselves know and understand seemingly everything there is to know about America. And I'd like to see some kind of source before I even begin to consider the possibility that 23% of Americans are illiterate (I've never met an illiterate American in my life).
May I ask why American Govt creates phantoms and why the American people, so much educated and well learned, believe in these phantoms? If American people inspite of all that, support the ongoing policies of US Govt. then sorry, the majority of the Muslim world will blame the Americans.
What "phantoms" are you talking about?
YoungCalifornianYes, and I'm sure that you've each been all over the country and had discussions with an appropriate cross-section of each social, political, ethnic, and economic group within the United States before forming your opinions. Emotion: rolleyes

I love how so many people from other parts of the world love chastising Americans for their perceived ignorance, while simultaneously making the assumption that they themselves know and understand seemingly everything there is to know about America. And I'd like to see some kind of source before I even begin to consider the possibility that 23% of Americans are illiterate (I've never met an illiterate American in my life).
Hi YC

Yes, I have been to the US and talked to people but of course statistics and international surveys are a much better source of information for forming opinions. It wasn't my intention at all to chastise Americans and you are reading things that aren't there into my post by implying that I claim to know "everything there is to know about America." I was just stating a fact. I mentioned one source (Newsweek Magazine) in my post. That was a few years ago and I haven't kept the copy.

Here are a few links that deal with illiteracy in America:
http://www.nrrf.org/essay_Illiteracy.html#thegrimstatistics
http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Shameful-Secret-of-Illiteracy-in-America&id=23757
http://www.geocities.com/lsysusan017/fact_on_illiteracy_in_amer.htm
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/183792/more_than_onethird_of_washington_dc.html
http://www.emergingminds.org/magazine/content/item/3830
You can google with the words "illiteracy in America" to find and read more yourself.

With regard to American 15-year-olds' school achievement, international surveys are conducted regularly. These two links take you to a couple of articles on PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) surveys. The USA came 24th out of the 29 countries surveyed.

http://www.oecd.org/document/28/0,2340,en_2649_201185_34010524_1_1_1_1,00.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment#Results

I'll say it again: some of the very best universities are in the USA and there are some excellent schools for the affluent. Those who are not in the money are inevitably worse off in a thoroughly capitalist society, and few care about that. Illegal immigrants account for a large number of the illiterates, but there are other reasons as well.

Cheers
CB
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YoungCalifornianYes, and I'm sure that you've each been all over the country and had discussions with an appropriate cross-section of each social, political, ethnic, and economic group within the United States before forming your opinions. Emotion: rolleyes

I love how so many people from other parts of the world love chastising Americans for their perceived ignorance, while simultaneously making the assumption that they themselves know and understand seemingly everything there is to know about America. And I'd like to see some kind of source before I even begin to consider the possibility that 23% of Americans are illiterate (I've never met an illiterate American in my life).
as cool breeze already gave us a lot of links, i want to apologize. i don`t give an inch at my opinion, but i didn`t mean to offend all americans. that wasn`t what i wanted to say, we`re talking about an average. here in germany i know lots of dumb guys, too. every country has those guys and as america is the global power, it attracts more attencion when you read articles about this particular country. again, i don`t think all americans are stupid
Obviously it is illegal against any country, which is very common and happened many times in the history of US. This is known to everyone in the world may be except the president of U.S. Do you people think what would be the reason that US is spending and spent so much money on this war. May be for the money which they get it from the resources in iraq or to prove their stubborn, reluctant and stupid pride.

Freaqwnec! = 1/Time
YoungCalifornianWhat "phantoms" are you talking about?

Phantoms? Phantoms that someone is hiding in the tunnels of a Stone-age Country who will destroy the world; Phantom that Saddam had WMD; Phantom that Iran must not be allowed to have atomic weapons otherwise the world will not safe, etc. Have we found the world safe now?

I don’t think that you will agree and I don’t need that. But one thing I have got that when people see fire of war at their door’s steps, they will realize the pangs of other war-stricken countries. Has any one seen these dilapidated war stricken countries? Han any body seen the amputated young men, the bereaved families of , , and . Are they destined to have the same lot, the world has been kind enough to give them? Doesn’t any body feel the pricks of his/her conscience to protest against this ongoing carnage?

Yes, I have been completely brainwashed by the screaming and shrieking cries of these war-stricken people, as an anonymous gay has posted. If you see, you will be brainwashed, as well.
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Yes, I have been to the US and talked to people but of course statistics and international surveys are a much better source of information for forming opinions. It wasn't my intention at all to chastise Americans and you are reading things that aren't there into my post by implying that I claim to know "everything there is to know about America." I was just stating a fact. I mentioned one source (Newsweek Magazine) in my post. That was a few years ago and I haven't kept the copy.
I still think that's a dubious "fact" (as I will into further in a minute), but a still find it comical that people can form such stubborn opinions about such a huge country with such limited experience there. I've lived in the United States my entire life, and even I don't pretend to understand people and culture throughout country. I can tell people a lot about California, and have spent a good deal of time in most of the western states, but my experience east of the Mississippi is very limited. When I think about that and then how some feel than can express very knowledgable opinions regarding the country after a few visits, or even living a few years in one particular region, I want to shake my head and laugh.

Now, regarding your links...

The first two essentially make the case that 42 million (14%) of Americans are illiterate, and 92 million Americans (30.67%) are at least "functionally" illiterate. However, the only source provided for this information is James Earl Jones (AKA the voice of Darth Vader).

Here's an excerpt from the third link:


Funtional illiteracy refers to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing and computational skills in everyday life situations. for example, they are unable to fill out an employment application, follow written instructions, or read a newspaper. In short when confronted with printed matrials, they cannot funtion effectively without basic literacy skills,

23% of people living in America are funtionally illiterate. 25% are a little better than funtionally illiterate. But their repertoire is limited. The typical adult non-readers are English Speaking whies between the ages 29 to 39 who live in small towns or suburbs. Although many of these adults can read at rudimentary levelsm they need higher levels of tliteracy of live in society, to find employmentm or to be trained for mew jobs. But less than 10%are being reached.

Was that a joke?

The fourth article only centers around Washington, DC.

The fifth article has this to say:
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 5% of America’s adult population, 11 million citizens, are nonliterate in English. The survey further states that 10% of American adults, 23 million citizens, have below basic literacy skills.
So of all the articles you've provided links to, only one cites a legitimate source, and that one states that 5% (not 14%) are illiterate, and 10% (not 30.67%) have below basic literacy skills. Hmmm...

Anyway, I do recognize that even if those final statistics are accurate, it's still a high number for a developed country. Still, as you hint at, America is not a small homogeneous country like Finland. People come here from all over the world, and as a result there's a much broader spectrum of cultures, values, beliefs, and yes, education.
I'll say it again: some of the very best universities are in the USA and there are some excellent schools for the affluent. Those who are not in the money are inevitably worse off in a thoroughly capitalist society, and few care about that. Illegal immigrants account for a large number of the illiterates, but there are other reasons as well.
These comments irk me more than anything else you've said. It would seem that you've bought into the tired stereotype that American society is ruled only by money. Only the affluent can get a good education? I'm sorry, but that's laughable. While there's no denying that the unbelievably high rate of tuition at American universities is a huge obstacle (even for middle class families like mine), there are all kinds of systems put into place to help average people cope with the costs. The two best examples are scholarships and student loans. Furthermore, there are alternatives to attending expensive universities such as community colleges and trade schools. Lastly, it's true that the United States is more capitalist than European countries, but that doesn't mean that the poor are resigned to being that way for the rest of their life.

Phantoms? Phantoms that someone is hiding in the tunnels of a Stone-age Country who will destroy the world; Phantom that Saddam had WMD; Phantom that Iran must not be allowed to have atomic weapons otherwise the world will not safe, etc. Have we found the world safe now?

I don’t think that you will agree and I don’t need that. But one thing I have got that when people see fire of war at their door’s steps, they will realize the pangs of other war-stricken countries. Has any one seen these dilapidated war stricken countries? Han any body seen the amputated young men, the bereaved families of Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine. Are they destined to have the same lot, the world has been kind enough to give them? Doesn’t any body feel the pricks of his/her conscience to protest against this ongoing carnage?

Yes, I have been completely brainwashed by the screaming and shrieking cries of these war-stricken people, as an anonymous gay has posted. If you see, you will be brainwashed, as well.

Sheesh, I just wanted some clarification. Thanks for assuming you know how I think and feel though...

For the record, I think the war in Iraq was a huge mistake. I do, however, fear a country being led by a man who denies the Holocaust and says he wants to wipe Israel from the map getting its hands on nuclear weapons.

YoungCalifornianI still think that's a dubious "fact" (as I will into further in a minute), but a still find it comical that people can form such stubborn opinions about such a huge country with such limited experience there.

Only the affluent can get a good education? I'm sorry, but that's laughable. While there's no denying that the unbelievably high rate of tuition at American universities is a huge obstacle (even for middle class families like mine), there are all kinds of systems put into place to help average people cope with the costs. The two best examples are scholarships and student loans.
Hi YC

It doesn't really matter whether you laugh at me or not. My opinions about countries are chiefly based on what I read and hear about them. There are about 200 countries in the world and I couldn't possibly spend years in each of them to form an opinion the way you suggest. Most people in the world could never have an opinion about any country if they had to live a long time in that country first.

It is also unimportant for me whether the US illiteracy rate is 5, 13, 23 or 33 percent. It's way too high from the Scandinavian point of view and I cannot obviously believe or disbelieve every statistic I see or hear. 23 was the figure given by an American quality magazine. It may or may not be correct - either way, it has absolutely no effect on my life or thinking.

I understand that you are more or less satisfied with US literacy rates and US teenagers' performance in the PISA program.

There are student loans in Finland too. When studied at Helsinki University, it was more expensive than today: I had to pay about 20 US dollars per year for the tuition. Nowadays it's cheaper, university students have no tuition fees and they are paid about 260 euros per month for studying.

Cheers
CB
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It doesn't really matter whether you laugh at me or not. My opinions about countries are chiefly based on what I read and hear about them. There are about 200 countries in the world and I couldn't possibly spend years in each of them to form an opinion the way you suggest. Most people in the world could never have an opinion about any country if they had to live a long time in that country first.
I'm not laughing at you, nor do I mean to suggest you don't have a right to your opinion. However, I find it ironic that you challenged the notion that Americans are "highly educated" with, what I consider to be, a largely uneducated opinion on the subject. That's all really. Before challenging someone else's opinions (in this case, Sdk's) regarding a country, I would recommend reassessing your own knowledge of it. As I stated before, I consider myself ignorant to a large degree regarding this country, and I find it quite absurd that someone with a lot less experience regarding the United States would state as facts the things that you have. I have lots of opinions regarding lots of countries, but I know where the limits of my knowledge are, and would not make similar statements to yours regarding any of them unless I was absolutely positive they were true.
It is also unimportant for me whether the US illiteracy rate is 5, 13, 23 or 33 percent. It's way too high from the Scandinavian point of view and I cannot obviously believe or disbelieve every statistic I see or hear. 23 was the figure given by an American quality magazine. It may or may not be correct - either way, it has absolutely no effect on my life or thinking.
I find it hard to believe that you find it unimportant whether or not the American illiteracy is 5% or 33% considering that much of our dialogue has centered around what the actual number likely is. Besides, you should recognize the difference between scholarly studies and numbers put out by magazines designed to attract readers and thus subject to sensationalism.
I understand that you are more or less satisfied with US literacy rates and US teenagers' performance in the PISA program.
Where did I say that I was satisfied with American literacy rates? On the contrary, I won't be "satisfied" until the literacy rate is 99.9%. That said, you can't objectively compare such simple rates or measures of general education in countries as different as Finland and the United States.
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