Our nation is facing a crisis in geographic knowledge.  Sixty-three percent of young adults cannot locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East. Seventy-five percent cannot find Iran.  Half cannot locate New York on a map of the United States.

These statistics are emblematic of a general lack on knowledge about the world that is troubling in a time when the United States must compete in a global marketplace.  We need Americans to know and understand the countries and cultures that are or could become our political and economic partners. It is unacceptable that seventy-one percent of young Americans do not know that the United States is the world's largest exporter of goods.  It is unacceptable that, despite the fact that it is the world's largest democracy, nearly half of young adults do not know where India is located.

We need to improve our children's understanding of their world both within and beyond our country's borders.  The Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act will do just that.  It would authorize federal funding to improve student achievement, increase teacher training, encourage education research, and develop effective instructional materials and strategies for geography education.  It will leverage and expand support for geography education partnerships.  And it will prepare America's students to move forward and succeed in a rapidly-changing, competitive, global economy.

It is time to be sure that American citizens are informed citizens of the world.