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America Cares About Buying Guns, Not Educating Kids

America is set to spend 20 percent of our federal budget on defense and a mere 3 percent on education.

In this year's State of the Union speech, President Obama called for a "Sputnik" movement in education, and asked our nation to do what's necessary "to give every child a chance to succeed" and compete with their international peers. Sadly, the latest federal spending bill includes more than $38 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education programs. When you look at how much we're spending on defense, it's pretty clear: Our national priority isn't really education, it's buying guns and missiles.

Indeed, on Tuesday, our culture editor Cord wrote about Swedish-based think tank SIPRI's latest report, which details that since 2001, the United States' defense spending has increased 81 percent. And, we spend almost 43 percent of the money the entire world allocates to defense.

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Debunking Education Myths: America's Never Been Number One in Math

China getting the top spot on the PISA tests created a panic over America's fall from academic grace. But our scores are actually improving.


Has America really fallen behind the rest of the world in academic achievement? According to a new report from the nonprofit Brookings Institution, all the doom-and-gloom commentary suggesting that we've fallen from the top spot simply isn't true. And, even more surprising, America's results are actually on the rise.

National panic ensued last December when data from the Program for International Student Assessment tests revealed our less than stellar international math results. Even worse, high schoolers from our competitor du jour, China, scored the top spot. But the report's author, Tom Loveless, writes that, "The United States never led the world. It was never number one and has never been close to number one on international math tests. Or on science tests, for that matter."

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Why Schools Should Still Teach Jules Verne

It's Jules Verne's 183rd birthday and the works of the classic French author are more relevant than ever to the 21st century lives of U.S. students.


Today is author Jules Verne's 183rd birthday. In his honor, fans of his work have boosted him into the top trending topics on Twitter, and Google even morphed its logo into an animated underwater scene from his classic novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. But, in an era of pre-packaged reading programs, curricula driven by high-stakes testing, and kids hooked on Twilight, do today's schools even teach Verne's books anymore?

If they're not, they should be. While the relevancy of some classics—like J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Ryeis being questioned, Verne's books seem more applicable than ever to the 21st century lives of students.

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