Thursday, July 21, 2005

Writing in Tapped, Matthew Yglesias says that despite all the sky-is-falling culture-hating on the right, indicators suggest otherwise:
(J)ust the other day the government released "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2005." The news, which has received almost no coverage, is almost uniformly good. "Teen births are at an all-time low" despite Desperate Housewives. Illegal drug use is down. Smoking is flat after several years of decline. Alcohol consumption is flat. In 1993, for every 1,000 juveniles, 52 committed serious violent felonies. In 2003, the most recent for for which data is available, it was down to 15 offenders per 1,000. This despite the Grand Theft Auto series.

Liberals and conservatives alike "know" that our public school system is failing and only drastic changes can turn it around. Except they aren't failing; NAEP scores are up in both the short-term and long-term views. What has gone up in recent years is child poverty....
Poverty is the obscenity too many children experience day and night, not gangsta rap and video games.

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