The dumbest generation is getting dumber

The dumbest generation is getting dumber

There are 24 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Jun 3, 2009, titled The dumbest generation is getting dumber. In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

The Program for International Student Assessment is an international comparison of 15-year-olds conducted by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that measures applied learning and problem-solving ability.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hampton Roads Daily Press.

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TidewaterLiberta rian

Saluda, VA

#1 Jun 7, 2009
It would seem that the poor performance of U.S. students in government schools is directly proportional to the amount of exposure they have to the government employees who work there.
willowind

Picacho, AZ

#2 Jun 7, 2009
YES... You should see Arizona.
Charles

United States

#3 Jun 12, 2009
I think Professor Williams has made several good points for us to consider, and I agree with his conclusion that "School reform is not solely a racial issue; it's a vital issue for the entire nation."
I believe that a majority of our nation's citizens must obtain a quality education not only for their individual futures, but because an informed citizenry is crucial to the vitality and strength of the United States. A well-informed and active citizenry will contribute to our nation's solidity and help it flourish, whereas an uneducated and passive populace will weaken our Constitutional Republic and provide its undoing.

Unfortunately, circumstantial evidence indicates that our public education system seems to produce mainly the latter type of citizen. Until and unless we citizens act and change this state of affairs, the United States is doomed to mediocrity or worse. Relying upon status quo politicians only perpetuates the problems in the Department of Education: Rather than reforming or dismantling the burdensome agency, they seem more inclined to increase the size of the bureaucracy itself and/or benefit favored private firms with lucrative contracts for programs that often prove ineffective.

For an analysis similar to that of Professor William's post-elementary education effectiveness and performance decline, which includes solutions to the problem of Central Planning in education, I can recommend Mr. Hood's work "The Failure of American Public Education" (written in 1993):

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/the-f...

Despite the enormous amount of taxpayer money spent upon our nation's school system, the Department of Education has not appreciably improved its record across the 16 years between the two analyses, since the quality of our students' performances have remained approximately the same or even gotten poorer. I am one of many citizens who believes that the Department of Education does more harm than good.

In my opinion, the Department of Education seems better at misinforming our youth and instilling willful mediocrity in them than teaching them the skills necessary to become independent, critically thinking citizens. Arguably, Central Planning for our nation's schools has been as much a failure as has Central Planning for our nation’s economy (the Federal Reserve Cartel functions as our Central Bank, and is in large part to blame for our current recession). While the economics of Public Education seems little known to ordinary citizens, the potential to acquire lucrative contracts worth millions of dollars in taxpayer money is well known to those in and around the Department of Education. The various groups and organizations jockeying for influence over the school system are diverse, and their success in obtaining that influence is dependant upon the administration currently in the Executive Branch, the leanings of most Congresspersons, and to a lesser extent the prevailing mood of the citizenry. Once in the coveted positions of influencing Department (of Education) policy, organizations gain the support and funding necessary to push through their programs, generally under the ever-popular guise of "reform" or some prevailing national fad. Rather than be conducive to a sound education, the programs instituted are more likely to further the agenda of the groups and organizations while enriching them and those contracted/paid to conduct their programs. One of the best examples of this is also one of the most recent: "No Child Left Behind" ( http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/ar... ).

We as citizens need to inform ourselves if we want to learn who the Department of Education's real beneficiaries are, since the evidence indicates that it certainly isn't our nation's children. Then perhaps real solutions may become apparent.

Best regards,

Charles
Anti-Teleprompte r

United States

#4 Jun 12, 2009
Sooooo, any theories about what exactly is dragging the test scores down?
Unknown

Williamsburg, VA

#5 Jun 12, 2009
Anti-Teleprompter wrote:
Sooooo, any theories about what exactly is dragging the test scores down?
Well for one, students who are not on grade level taking tests meant for that grade level, and there are many.
Yolanda

AOL

#6 Jun 13, 2009
my babys aways good in scool and tests because they smat babys but they cant go scholl no mo becase the pricipel he hate black chilrens an he kick tem all out and all an now i gots to hom schol them

“low tolerance for stupid”

Since: Apr 08

Hampton VA

#7 Jun 13, 2009
With the SOL test teachers and school systems have a set minimum requirement. The minimum has become the ultimate goal. Once acheived no more effort is expected or required.

“I pity the fool !!”

Since: Jan 08

Hampton, VA

#8 Jun 13, 2009
Hampton Handyman wrote:
With the SOL test teachers and school systems have a set minimum requirement. The minimum has become the ultimate goal. Once acheived no more effort is expected or required.
Not true.

Many schools, as part of their yearly improvement plan, have the goal of increasing the number of students attaining advanced scores on the SOLs.

“I pity the fool !!”

Since: Jan 08

Hampton, VA

#9 Jun 13, 2009
Charles wrote:
I think Professor Williams has made several good points for us to consider, and I agree with his conclusion that "School reform is not solely a racial issue; it's a vital issue for the entire nation."
I believe that a majority of our nation's citizens must obtain a quality education not only for their individual futures, but because an informed citizenry is crucial to the vitality and strength of the United States. A well-informed and active citizenry will contribute to our nation's solidity and help it flourish, whereas an uneducated and passive populace will weaken our Constitutional Republic and provide its undoing.
Unfortunately, circumstantial evidence indicates that our public education system seems to produce mainly the latter type of citizen. Until and unless we citizens act and change this state of affairs, the United States is doomed to mediocrity or worse. Relying upon status quo politicians only perpetuates the problems in the Department of Education: Rather than reforming or dismantling the burdensome agency, they seem more inclined to increase the size of the bureaucracy itself and/or benefit favored private firms with lucrative contracts for programs that often prove ineffective.
For an analysis similar to that of Professor William's post-elementary education effectiveness and performance decline, which includes solutions to the problem of Central Planning in education,
Despite the enormous amount of taxpayer money spent upon our nation's school system, the Department of Education has not appreciably improved its record across the 16 years between the two analyses, since the quality of our students' performances have remained approximately the same or even gotten poorer. I am one of many citizens who believes that the Department of Education does more harm than good.
One of the best examples of this is also one of the most recent: "No Child Left Behind" ( http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/ar... ).
We as citizens need to inform ourselves if we want to learn who the Department of Education's real beneficiaries are, since the evidence indicates that it certainly isn't our nation's children. Then perhaps real solutions may become apparent.
Best regards,
Charles
Or perhaps the educational system is losing the battle for the "hearts and minds" of the student population to a culture and society that puts more emphasis on the cuteness of stupid and disparages real knowledge and intelligence.
I won't disagree that there is some waste in education and that there are individuals who do not belong. However, until someone can come up with a system that meets ALL the requirements that public education has to address, I'll stick with trying to reform what is already in place.

And I apologize for editing your quote, but I had to get it under the 4000 character count.
Great Thinker

Newport News, VA

#10 Jun 13, 2009
Well.........what is one of the first areas that government cut funding when money is tight? Schools. Underpaid, over-worked teachers have to buy their own class supplies and deal with undisciplined, unprepared children who lack respect. Class sizes have increased, schools are so small that they overflow into portable trailers ....... hmmmmm....what is the problem with this system?

Teachers are not able to separate classes to different levels (high/low) for fear of hurting feelings and potential lawsuits. So the class is taught at the level of the dumbest kid. No child left behind....even it that one child drags down the rest.

If it weren't so complicated we might be able to figure it out. Its just so elusive.

“low tolerance for stupid”

Since: Apr 08

Hampton VA

#11 Jun 13, 2009
Think 1st wrote:
<quoted text>
Not true.
Many schools, as part of their yearly improvement plan, have the goal of increasing the number of students attaining advanced scores on the SOLs.
You missed my point. If you answer every question on the SOL test correctly you have achieved the requirement. Teachers need to to be allowed and even encouraged to teach above and beyond the answers on the SOL test.

“low tolerance for stupid”

Since: Apr 08

Hampton VA

#12 Jun 13, 2009
Great Thinker wrote:
Well.........what is one of the first areas that government cut funding when money is tight? Schools. Underpaid, over-worked teachers have to buy their own class supplies and deal with undisciplined, unprepared children who lack respect. Class sizes have increased, schools are so small that they overflow into portable trailers ....... hmmmmm....what is the problem with this system?
Teachers are not able to separate classes to different levels (high/low) for fear of hurting feelings and potential lawsuits. So the class is taught at the level of the dumbest kid. No child left behind....even it that one child drags down the rest.
If it weren't so complicated we might be able to figure it out. Its just so elusive.
$20.00 an hour to work 180 days a year is far for over-worked and underpaid. Even though it is politically incorrect to recognize it.
The report looks at D.C. which has classes smaller than the national average. Even there results did not improve.
It isn't that complicated. You just have to hurt some feelings for the good of the group.
souljatruth

Brooklyn, NY

#13 Jun 13, 2009
Listen. I am a product of public education and it was not always like this. This dumbing down is deliberate. Resources that should be going to our schools is being directed elsewhere. Special interest cannot have their way in a educated populace.
Belle Gunness

United States

#14 Jun 13, 2009
Dumbing down everyone is part of the U.N. conspiracy to eventually create a world government.

“I pity the fool !!”

Since: Jan 08

Hampton, VA

#15 Jun 13, 2009
Hampton Handyman wrote:
<quoted text>
You missed my point. If you answer every question on the SOL test correctly you have achieved the requirement. Teachers need to to be allowed and even encouraged to teach above and beyond the answers on the SOL test.
I don't disagree with that (teaching beyond the test), but if you answer all the questions correctly on the SOL while you do meet the requirement, it is not the minimum requirement.

The minimum requirement is answering just enough questions correctly to meet the passing mark for that test, which varies from test to test.
Former Educator

Yorktown, VA

#16 Jun 13, 2009
When I taught elementary school in Hampton and Newport News for over 15 years, I saw how it was a lost cause. I recall many of the WB-Workbook assignments. Many kids could complete, for example, pages 125-128 within the class time with instruction and do very well. I always had at least 3 or 4 students who could not find the pages. They could not count pages in a WB in the 4th grade. It was the same everywhere.

The HW-Homework assignments were totally, if not impossible to read,'if' they were turned in the next day.

S.O.L.s were scored in the 300s-400s, pitiful. Many points are given for putting down one's own name. Todays S.O.L.S are very easy to pass with low % of correct answers. If you go to the V.D.O.E. website, look at the questions from the 2008 tests.
Great Thinker

Newport News, VA

#17 Jun 13, 2009
Hampton Handyman wrote:
<quoted text>
$20.00 an hour to work 180 days a year is far for over-worked and underpaid. Even though it is politically incorrect to recognize it.
The report looks at D.C. which has classes smaller than the national average. Even there results did not improve.
It isn't that complicated. You just have to hurt some feelings for the good of the group.
Maybe you should stick to the handyman business and leave the education debate to the people who know what they are talking about.

“low tolerance for stupid”

Since: Apr 08

Hampton VA

#18 Jun 13, 2009
Great Thinker wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe you should stick to the handyman business and leave the education debate to the people who know what they are talking about.
Do you have anything to back up your opinion other than emotion?
Let me guess you are an over worked underpaid teacher and no one knows what goes on in the classroom but you.
Richard Harris

Virginia Beach, VA

#19 Jun 13, 2009
The public schools are a lost cause. Highly qualified teachers have educational capabilities that are barely above the students they teach - having graduated summa cum laude from a local university's teaching program I can attest that the quality of the professional teacher students and the university instructors was a joke. With school districts more concerned with designing 100 million dollar campuses rather than firing the dead wood, having standards, and ending social promotion, a responsible parent would put their children in private school. Just remember that even our so called community colleges are nothing more than trade schools - teaching material that was at the high school level 20 years ago. The teachers endlessly whine about large class sizes but since they fail to teach at 20 per classroom a few more won't make a difference. We went to schools with 30 per class, didn't require armed police in the halls, and the graduates could read/write/ and balance a checkbook. Todays's graduates are "creative" which means they can't do anything. There is no future for a child in a public school.
Great Thinker

Newport News, VA

#20 Jun 14, 2009
Hampton Handyman wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you have anything to back up your opinion other than emotion?
Let me guess you are an over worked underpaid teacher and no one knows what goes on in the classroom but you.
Lets just say I have a great deal more to back up my statements than opinion or emotion. LOL. And I am not a teacher, I don't have the patience for that kind of work.

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