American schoolchildren may know their way around their smartphones and PC's, but they know next to nothing about geography, and educators are alarmed.

The U.S. Department of Education says less than one-third of elementary and high school students showed any proficiency in geography, in the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress, the test known as the "Nation's Report Card."

The test shows students aren't learning subjects such as geography and history, because teachers spend more time on math and reading to accommodate the standardized tests required under the federal No Child Left Behind Law, which ties federal funding to standardized math and reading tests.

One professor says as classroom time becomes ever more precious and scarce, core subjects such as geography, history and the arts are losing out in the zero-sum game that results from high-stakes testing.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says this narrowing of the curriculum shows No Child Left Behind needs to be adjusted, and he's calling for changes before the start of the next school year.

via Many U.S. kids are lost on basic geography facts | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle.

Only half of fourth-graders could put the following in correct descending order of size:  North America, the U.S., California and Los Angeles,

Only a third of fourth-graders know how to determine distance on a map.

Shown a picture of tectonic plates near Japan, only two thirds of eighth graders understood their relationships to earthquakes.