Next time you complain about the high cost of New Jersey property taxes, make sure you include this in your thought process: the high cost of the lack of a good education.
New Jersey is the fourth smartest state in the country. We rank right behind Vermont at number one, and Massachusetts at number two, and Connecticut at number three. All states that have relatively high property taxes and good school systems, apparently.
However, South Carolina came in at number 26 ---in the bottom half of the nation. Their school system was judged on the same criteria as ours was.
Such factors as the percentage of their school budget used for in class room instruction. The percentage of high school students who actually graduate. The percentage of fourth and eighth graders who are proficient in math, reading and writing. It is a school system that few would place on the same map as New Jersey's.
Well, except for one South Carolina high school graduate, perhaps.
The South Carolina school system will now be on the map ---so to speak---because one of their own, Lauren Caitlin Upton ---Miss South Carolina/ Teen America ---seems to believe that 1 out of 5 Americans cannot locate America on a map of the world because many Americans don’t have maps. If she goes on to the Miss America pageant in the future, she may take on as her ‘platform’ the plight of Mapless Americans.
For those of you who had trouble finding 'her response' in that response, here is a ‘map’ of her response:
Ms. Upton attempted to redeem herself on the Today Show. In a mock repeat of the interview question, Ms. Upton proudly declared, "Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't."
Well, good for her ---she says 'Our map'. Unlike the Mapless Americans she recognized in her earlier response, she has her own map.
That certainly settles the question.
She is a product of the school system of Lexington, South Carolina ---Lexington High School.
And of course, it comes as no surprise that her representative in Congress is Joe Wilson, a Republican who supports Bush in everyway he can. Perhaps Rep. Wilson cannot locate the United States on a map, either.