Many of America’s young black men can’t read or do math, and that puts us all at risk.

Something deeply concerning is happening in this country. I thought I understood, but I was seriously wrong. I featured the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Winsome Sears, on my television show, Your voice, your future, November 1st. He had planned to ask her and the other guests questions on topics ranging from the November elections to inflation and the current presidential administration. However, on Ms. Sears’ first response, the entire course of the program changed.

In my first question, I asked what is wrong with Virginia and how can it be fixed. His answer surprised me: He told me that 84 percent of black students in eighth grade lack the ability to do math and 85 percent are functionally illiterate. I couldn’t believe this. In fact, I thought he was wrong. My researchers quickly verified his words and confirmed this sad reality. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a sector of the US Department of Education, 84 percent of black students lack proficiency in math and Eighty-five percent of black students lack reading proficiency.. This amazed me, and the hour-long program was devoted to examining what is behind these numbers.

Still, I left the studio stumped. How could this happen in schools located so close to the country’s capital? I have reported extensively on the difficult educational situation in Baltimore, but I thought this problem might be unique to that city. Was this happening across the country? He had to get to the bottom.

My team and I tracked the NAEP data sets and found a trend that should concern all politicians, indeed all Americans. In California, 90 percent of students cannot do Math or read well. In New York, the numbers are 85 percent and 82 percent. In Illinois it is 86 percent and 85 percent. In Texas the numbers are 84 percent and 89 percent. Maryland is located in 86 percent for math and 80 percent to read. My home state of South Carolina is 90 percent and 87 percent. In Georgia, the numbers are 86 percent and 82 percent. In Missouri, it is 89 percent and 88 percent. And in Washington, DC, the numbers are 85 percent and 87 percent.

That’s just a sample, but the problem is not limited to these states. Nationally, black children overwhelmingly lack proficiency in math and reading. To use Ms. Sears’s words, they are “functionally illiterate,” which means they are “unable to handle the tasks of daily living and employment.” How can our society progress if a large part of our country cannot read?

Arguably, our math skills are what will get us the most bogged down for years to come. The world has moved into the digital field; Virtually all aspects of technology and programming have their roots in mathematics. This should concern lawmakers because the United States is lagging internationally in math skills. Currently, the The United States is ranked 38th in math skills globally. China, which already surpasses us economically and technologically, unsurprisingly ranks first. Even Vietnam ranks 14 places better than us at 24th.

What is happening in this country?

These numbers are an indictment of our nation’s educational system. In all subjects, we are ranked 25th globally in education. Think about it. The largest, richest and most powerful country in the world is failing miserably in the education of its young people. Are they not the future of our country? The truth is that we are already seeing the devastating results of this in the United States. Think of the incompetent leaders we elect – only an incompetent population can bring those people to power. To quote the 18th century French philosopher Joseph de Maistre: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.”

However, do we deserve this? Do we deserve to see our children fall victim to the failed policies of back-to-back administrations at the federal, state, and local levels? I do not think. This country was designed so that if the system fails, we have every right to fix it. This is why it’s so important to really engage with the people who are running for office, rather than blindly following what the mainstream media is telling you. Clearly, if the people the establishment wanted in power were good at their jobs, there would be no need to force propaganda on Americans to get their candidates elected.

America is supposed to be a place where people from all over the world want to come to educate their children and build a better future. If we cannot educate ourselves, there is no reason for anyone to think that we can educate others. Real leadership requires deep introspection as to why we have fallen so far behind as a nation from an educational point of view. If we continue down the same path of illiteracy and failure in mathematics, our country will not survive. Furthermore, if we continue to focus on trivial social problems that have no impact on the future of our country, we will continue to neglect the real problems that we face.

I pray that we will start to change things now. It’s not too late.

Armstrong Williams (@ArightSide) is the owner and manager of broadcast television stations Howard Stirk Holdings I and II and the 2016 multicultural media broadcast owner of the year. He is the author of “Virtues of awakening. “

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