Why There Is A Need For For Students To Be Educated IN Geography And Social Studies

Image result for photos of map of new mexico

Imagine going into a government building to ask for assistance. You explain that you’re from New Mexico when the government clerk requests to see your passport because you must be from a foreign country. The government worker is a product of the US education system where she genuinely didn’t know that New Mexico is a US state, since 1912.

Gavin Clarkson
April 26, 2018, Gavin Clarkson of  N.M., speaks at the Albuquerque bureau of The Associated Press. A District of Columbia clerk refused to accept Clarkson’s state driver’s license for a marriage license because she and her supervisory believed New Mexico was a foreign country. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

Here’s the rest of the story…

On November 30, 2018, AP published the following report, “DC clerk stalls marriage over ‘foreign’ New Mexico ID card”


“A District of Columbia clerk and a supervisor refused to accept a New Mexico man’s state driver’s license as he sought a marriage license because she and her supervisor believed New Mexico was a foreign country.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau

“Gavin Clarkson told the Las Cruces Sun-News it happened Nov. 20 at the District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau as he tried to apply for a marriage license.”

“After approaching the clerk for a license and showing his New Mexico ID, Clarkson said the clerk told him he needed an international passport to get the marriage license.”

“Clarkson said he protested to a supervisor, who also told him that he needed a foreign passport.”

“The clerk finally concluded New Mexico was a state after Clarkson objected 3 times. The clerk granted the license to Clarkson and his fiancée.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau

“She thought New Mexico was a foreign country,” Clarkson said of the clerk. “All the couples behind us waiting in line were laughing.”

“Clarkson, who is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, said if he’d had his tribal identification card he might have had an easier time than showing his New Mexico driver’s license.”

“In a statement, the D.C. courts system acknowledged the staff error to the Sun-News.”

“We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico’s 106-year history as a state,” Leah H. Gurowitz, spokeswoman for D.C. Courts, said in an email. “


  1. My husband was from India. I was a teacher and determined my kids wouldn’t suffer from a lack of geography. I went out and bought a globe and pointed out the different parts of the world. I also had a U.S.A. puzzle. It’s a definite handicap not to know those things. My dad used to let me use a map on trips. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I was not a teacher but a military brat where I lived abroad for lots of years. My Mom was native Italian. We grew up knowing geography and we developed a love for travel. Both my children grew up with this knowledge.

      Unfortunately, not all parents share this with children. The schools have to list these subjects as a part of their curriculum.

      It’s a disgrace for young peoples to be so lacking in knowledge about the world and especially, one’s own country. Thanks a million for your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 3 people

    • Unfortunately, not all schools in the U.S. are the same. I’m sure the best schools teach these things but these days children in some schools are also passed along until they graduate with insufficient knowledge. Some can hardly read. Sadly, some have problems that are not diagnosed. Parents should demand better teaching. I had to hire a math tutor for my daughter. The tutor said the city public schools had a poor math program. My daughter did take one high school class where the teacher used her own time to tutor the class. That was fortunate as it was the only math subject the tutor didn’t teach. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear CarolMaeWY,

      I don’t know when these basics have not been a required part of US curriculum at most schools.. I agree with adding civics as well.Having an educated voter benefits all of us.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Many teachers try their best even spending their own money to buy teaching aids and materials. I know I did. A big problem is the small amount of money used for teachers’ salaries. People who would be excellent teachers are switching to other fields where they can make better money. Good money has been spent on colleges but you need a good base. Without a good foundation, a building topples. Now there’s also less support for colleges. If we end up with a nation of poorly educated citizens we can look to ourselves for the reason. — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gronda, so true. Sadly, this happened to a friend’s wife in Winston-Salem when she tried to get a driver’s license. She is from New Mexico, so she was initially denied for not being an American. This was in 1995, so geography skills have been a problem for a long while. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

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