This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In a recent speech at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Ben Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said, "Our system of government was designed for a well-informed and educated populace, and when they become less informed, they become vulnerable."
The United States now ranks 17th among developed countries for education. The problem is not the government but the environment children are living in.
It is more common to see a child with a video game than a book. Young adults can name their favorite character on TV's "Jersey Shore," but they'd struggle to name their representative in Congress.
Education is not just another step toward getting a good job; it allows people to understand what is going on in their government and pushes them to act respond to injustices.
Without educated citizens, the government is not held accountable.