Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009

Can You Repeat the Question?

Just how bad is the state of public education in America? Simply watch South Carolina teen Lauren Upton attempt to explain during last year's Miss Teen U.S.A. pageant why one-fifth of Americans are unable to locate the U.S. on a map. Her mangled, incomprehensible response — which includes mention of Iraq, "Asian countries" and the notion that "some people out there in our nation don't have maps" — became the stuff of viral legend; one YouTube clip of it has been viewed more than 50 million times. The next day during an appearance on NBC's Today show, Upton defended herself, saying, "I was overwhelmed, and I made a mistake. Everybody makes a mistake. I'm human."