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American kids, dumber than dirt; is it really this bad?

post #1 of 163
Thread Starter 

 

This article was written a few years ago; does anyone see any improvement since 2007? It seems that the future of America, and by extension of America's influence, the world, is very grim indeed. 
 
The article starts out thusly:
 
"I have this ongoing discussion with a longtime reader who also just so happens to be a longtime Oakland high school teacher, a wonderful guy who's seen generations of teens come and generations go and who has a delightful poetic sensibility and quirky outlook on his life and his family and his beloved teaching career.
 
And he often writes to me in response to something I might've written about the youth of today, anything where I comment on the various nefarious factors shaping their minds and their perspectives and whether or not, say, EMFs and junk food and cell phones are melting their brains and what can be done and just how bad it might all be.
 
His response: It is not bad at all. It's absolutely horrifying."
 
Then the article goes on to blame everything from cell phone radiation to a conspiracy to make people more controllable by the military-industrial complex. Idiocracy indeed; is there any way out?
 
 
post #2 of 163

I don't buy it, aside from the general idea that <redacted> policies have devastated the urban public school system. I strongly suspect that's where his friend's negativity is coming from.

post #3 of 163

I don't buy it either. I'm sure the parents of our parents of our parents felt the same way about the youth of their time.

post #4 of 163

I don't know. I often feel the vast majority of my peers are total morons. The younger generations even more so.

 

I don't say based on speculation or my hatred of people in general but on my conversations with them. Not all of them are dumb but the vast majority are dumber than say...the vast majority of 40 year olds I know. The simple ability to hold a conversation for more than 5 minutes is difficult for most people my age let alone the ability to use the word "like" less than 2 times per minute of conversation.

 

Just my 2 cents.

post #5 of 163

I actually do think general education has been on a downward slope for awhile.  When I went to school we had a much broader curriculum and did very well nationally as a state.  Now the state spends more on education and teachers than any other and scores worse with less subject material being covered.  The public school system is going to hell in a hand basket and the signs are everywhere from test results to social indicators.  For the most part my state keeps voting for the same ideology over and over again for the past 30 years and the results show it.  I won't be surprised when California votes for the same idiots that made the mess in the first place because they have better commercials.  I also think economic and social changes have put a greater influence on passive rearing.  Family units are more fragmented and preoccupied my other considerations leaving pop culture and govt. institutions to fill the void.  It's not the Apocalypse but the direction is evident and so are the effects.  I recommend watching, 'Waiting for Superman'.  Great movie.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKTfaro96dg

post #6 of 163

I believe it... I've seen it too often.  Just in the past 10 years, I've seen the high school shorten by a full year and the curriculum (at my high school) go from classes like Calculus, Finite Mathematics, Algebra and Geometry, 2 years of Physics, Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Programming to classes like Parenting, Guidance & Career, Leadership, and mandatory Community Services.  I really wonder what kids are learning now... how to fit into a dumb society, follow instructions, don't ask anything or think too hard about anything.  Another serious problem is that students are not REQUIRED to learn and teachers are not REQUIRED to teach... that's just my point of view. 

post #7 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post

I don't know. I often feel the vast majority of my peers are total morons. The younger generations even more so.

 

I don't say based on speculation or my hatred of people in general but on my conversations with them. Not all of them are dumb but the vast majority are dumber than say...the vast majority of 40 year olds I know. The simple ability to hold a conversation for more than 5 minutes is difficult for most people my age let alone the ability to use the word "like" less than 2 times per minute of conversation.

 

Just my 2 cents.


x2

 

You can even see it on the Freeways in how bad driving has gotten over the years.  Total idiots everywhere.  Mostly young who were never taught how to drive by schools or parents.  Toss in a cellphone, buckle up and pray for your life.  Yet we spend more money than anybody on everything.  Where the hell does it go?  Crap roads, crap services.  I've lived in and loved California almost all my life but I'm considering the fact the the state is actually done for.

post #8 of 163

Kid or not, I am an American Teenager. Is a score of 30 on the ACT dumb?

 

I think free thinking, work ethic, and logic are going downhill, and that the percieved dumbness is just a symptom of an even bigger problem. As for teachers, they may not be teaching so well in the bigger schools, but in my small town high school, you can bet they aren't in it for the politics or money. From being taught by them, I think they are devoted to their jobs... give them a pencil and paper and they'll teach you anything they can. When I want to point fingers at social political maneuvers, I look at the administration, the superintendant, the school board, ect. and there is plenty to be found.

post #9 of 163
Thread Starter 

Here is a quote from John D. Rockefeller, oil baron and the architect of today's US Department of Education:

 

"We shall not try to make these people, or any of their children, into philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen -- of whom we have an ample supply. The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way."

 

This was in 1906, when he set out to "reform" the educational system in order to make a more productive workforce (he was put in charge of the "General Education Board" at that time.

 

I would add that the US hasn't fully funded the Department of Education / Education Department / Office of Education since the 1960's, precisely because the result was the 1960's. Revolution, even a peaceful one, is bad for "national security".


Edited by grokit - 10/21/10 at 8:42pm
post #10 of 163

Common sense is rare and commitment to work through a problem is pretty lacking. That said, there are some pretty sharp kids out there, if you don't stereotype all of them.

post #11 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I would add that the US hasn't fully funded the Dept. of Education since the 1960's, precisely because the result was the 1960's. Revolution, even a peaceful one, is bad for "national security".


Nonsensical statement. The Department of Education didn't come into existence until 1980. Before that, it was the rather minor Office of Education with little funding and even less influence.

post #12 of 163

Indeed. Education is largely a state controlled affair in the US.

post #13 of 163

I think the teacher fails to consider that it might just be that his individual school has been going downhill over the years. 

 

A trend that I have seen is not that things are going downhill overall, but the educated classes are becoming even better educated, and the uneducated classes are in some cases becoming even less educated than before. It's inequality that is the issue. 

post #14 of 163
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Common sense is rare and commitment to work through a problem is pretty lacking. That said, there are some pretty sharp kids out there, if you don't stereotype all of them.


I know some smart kids, but they were home schooled until high school. The younger one ended up graduating early because he was so far ahead, and was in college at 16.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post


Nonsensical statement. The Department of Education didn't come into existence until 1980. Before that, it was the rather minor Office of Education with little funding and even less influence.


The Office of Education was part of the federal government, and it's original name was the Department of Education. The first Commissioner of Education changed the name to the Bureau of Education. The official names was "Office of Education" from 1870 to 1929.  My post has been amended in respect to these semantics, I hope it makes more sense to you now.

 

If it didn't have much influence, how did they require all high school students in the US to learn Latin, the international language of law (for example) as recently as the 1950's?
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revolink24 View Post

Indeed. Education is largely a state controlled affair in the US.


The United States Department of Education, also referred to as the Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the US federal government. Local school boards are largely responsible for enforcing federal mandates.


Edited by grokit - 10/21/10 at 8:46pm
post #15 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolink24 View Post

Indeed. Education is largely a state controlled affair in the US.


I never liked that statement.  Education is something parents can get involved in.  I was fairly blessed as child with a lot of private tutors to supplement the mundane education I was getting from the schools.  Beyond the tutoring, my parents were constantly encouraging my interest in books, electronics, and computers.  Home schooling shows how effective parents can be as teachers.  I blame a lot of education and development with the parents.  I still don't understand why people need a license to own a pet but any moron can become a parent

 

Personally, I can't stand social promotion.  Just because a child is of a certain age does not mean that they deserve to be in a certain grade level.  And the degradation of the college degree is also a major point of concern.  I've seen several job listings where the tasks involved are reading and typing but require a bachelor's degree.  This plus social promotion only dilutes the bright minds that can properly take advantage of college.  Rarely have I come across a job that requires a college education beyond specialized fields (ex. teachers, doctors, engineers, etc.).

 

/rant

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