Americans are getting dumber – in one graph

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Jim Cramer for Zero Hedge, Sept. 25, 2013:

Another year, another record low for the average verbal SAT score, and another sad achievement for a nation that is getting fatter, dumber and ever more in debt.


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0 responses to “Americans are getting dumber – in one graph

  1. It’s not surprising is it? Remember the fellow on “Wheel of Fortune” who lost because the answer was “corner curio cabinet” and he mispronounced “curio” ? He later admitted he didn’t know the word “curio”. We have a country where many of those 40 yrs. and younger have not read the classics, or much of anything for that matter, and their limited vocabulary verges on illiteracy.

  2. And this is not an “unintended consequence,” either.


  3. The dumbing of America is not an accident. Common Core will drive our youth further down the rabbit hole with little chance of getting out.
    I would urge all to read about common core if you haven’t already and do what you must at the local level to stop this before it is too late.

  4. Whatdaya mean “Common Core” is a disaster? LOOKS LIKE whatever was before DID GREAT DAMAGE….look at the charts! Time to move on to greater than multiple-guess assessments. Common Core focuses on advancement to the REAL job world & college…..No longer will we test kids for random “Jeopardy” knowledge…most often stated on the test in the NEGATIVE (what does “not belong”…it’s a HUGE trick on the reader
    /testee..esp. one under stress & in a hurry) instead of the POSITIVE—like we ALL learn….teachers don’t TEACH in the negative…so why are we testing in the negative???? Common Core will teach and TEST in the way concepts will be applied to the real world. Want to paint a room most economically? How will you decide between two differently priced paints that have different coverage qualities….applied to the same room for square footage per walls…….?????Your kid will have to use their math skills to figure this out on Common Core Test…instead of a flacid multiple-guess answer to this sort of problem…to which they’ve never given a thought in their lives before the test date. Common Core will increasingly try to bring them into the REAL world of personnal problem-solving and employability.

    Also…time to SHUT DOWN the perpetrators of the nationally-normed end-of -year-testing (Princeton). It was a “Company Town” that changed the test every year like the rabbit in a greyhound race. They had ONE big customer …the Federal Gov’t. As long as our kids looked like failures….the more relavent the test-making compay matter what they did to the test that was unethical…all people cared about was the scores. It was in their interest for our kids to look like “failures.” As long as our kids were failing, we could keep “weighing the hog” (testing and testing and testing the kids) at the expense of FEEDING the hog (using that time to actually TEACH the kids….without “teaching to the test.”) which meant more money in their bank accounts. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!! .AND…AMERICA…wake up! No matter what test you give….50% will ALWAYS earn below 50% in a test normed this way. If we were ALL Einsteins….there would be 50% of us miss an answer and be the “low” ones! Are those 50% who were Einsteins full-out failures????!!!! NO!!! But by Princeton testing measurements on THEIR tests….50% of those Einsteins would be “failures.” They were measured by a contrived measurement meant to keep the testing company in business all across America as practically the ONLY corporation making, administering, reporting the testing! Where there is a can most often find a skewed corruption of intent. Did you know…for instance…that certain students who test below a certain level….test scores are turned over to the Federal Gov’t to recruiting offices for the military branches???? Parents! Are these test scores the property of YOUR child…or YOU…or are they the property of the Federal Gov’t???? You LOSE before you’ve even been aware of what they do with them! The scores are the property of the Federal Gov’t.!!! They use them to profile your kid for cannon fodder! If you might not have the scores to go to college…then you are a “grunt,” only fit for infantry…carry a gun…take orders (not give them)…catch a bullet….BASED ON A TEST SCORE that does not account for creativity, problem-solving skills, social skills and leadership skills….artistic and musical skills…and on and on ad nauseum. Those tests ONLY test Math and Language Arts. So…hey…if your kid is a science brianiac…who cares? If your kid is a walking encyclopedia of World or US History…who cares????? They are STILL not worthy. IF they are Mozard reborn…or Picasso on roller skates….we don’t want them…put them in the infantry!!!! No worth to the US Government or to most colleges in the USA today….all because Princeton became “de rigor” of measurement of what our kids were worth. All in the hands of the test-making corporation.

    GIVE ME A BREAK! America is better than this! Our kids are better than this and deserve better than this!!!! Our future as as a vibrant, creative, problem-solving, leader of the free-world depends upon this, really. You might not believe in “Common Core,” but you better get your arses out of the gate and leave the old, contrived, failed, past behind with our decades of multiple-guess National assessments.

    • Thank God my parents didn’t pack me or my two siblings off to a gubbermint skule.

      And if you cannot afford a private education for your spawn (which are ostensibly the most precious things in your life), then do the world a favor, and don’t have children.

      It’s just that simple.


    • Hello and Welcome, CalGirl!
      I read all yr comment carefully, as I left the US in 1969, and now know only Canadian teaching standards and methodologies. As a teacher-instructor here, primarily of post-HS students and adults returning for upgrades in applied horticulture and landscape arts, design, and construction, I fully understand your concern that what they learn is relevant to the real world, wherever and however they find it!

      It is VERY difficult to create tests that accurately measure what students recently learned, and even more so to retain whatever that may be five and ten years later. I strive to have each one become an autodidact, so they can see to it their education never interferes w/their learning!

      North America needs to get off its university & college-bound high horses, and ensure that there are enough vocational and technical schools available for those who leave HS and do not need more academic stuffing. Students should not feel –as many in my generation did, and I’m 71 next February– that they must enlist to get the tech skills they need for a career afterward. That’s an enormous waste of military funds and taxpayers dollars, and it doesn’t really benefit the student.

      By the way, I did go to Princeton University in 1987… to supervise the installation of new fire lanes and grass grid access to allow fire trucks to enter areas not formerly accessible!

    • CalGirl,

      I don’t think you have studied Common Core enough. Many of the problems you cite with the present system will not only continue, but be exacerbated under Common Core, especially as related to pre-K to four years POST college (a.k.a. P-20) data mining by the two new, required, proprietary testing arms PARCC and SBAC.

      Follow the money? You mean the now hundreds of millions that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has dumped into the NGA, CCSSO, Achieve Inc., Pearson, NEA, Bill Frist’s TNSCORE and others to implement Common Core and call it “state-led”?

      David Coleman was a chief author of the English Language Arts Standards, has never instructed English nor written academic standards previously and has since moved on to become president of College Board to rewrite the ACT and SAT exams to “align” with Common Core. There will be no apples-to-apples comparison to any academic performance before Common Core is implemented. You can throw away that linked graph above because any new data will be irrelevant.

    • Looking at this response it becomes clear that our collective truth has no basis in reality. Knowledge comes from work, problem solving and most of all desire. Having kids sitting in rooms listening to teachers (teacher = college graduate who is unemployable) criticise other people jobs creates a type of peer pressure that makes kids lose disire to work and problem solve.

      Additionally union & politics have made kids pawns. Give the schools back to parents, reduce the numbers going to college and never call a job a bad job, In many cases college is an evil mud trap that enslaves the un-suspecting child into a life of servitude (student loans). Common core is a gateway to slavery and it will continue to damage the country at is root the next generation. American ingenuity comes from divergent thinking. Teaching kids what to think hurts us all. Teaching kids how to think and work is the answer.

  5. Such terrible news. 🙁

  6. I just thank the good Lord that our four are out of school now. I worry for our grandson and what he will NOT learn.

  7. Spreading the ignornace around– what left/liberals call “social justice” because knowing too much is elitist.

  8. Delaware the state where I live accepted $119 million dollars from the federal govt (DOE) for Race to the Top or that is what they were calling it the last time I looked.
    They accepted this money before anyone at the state level knew what was involved. All they wanted was the money. The strings attached were they had to accept common core in its entirety. I repeat the money was accepted before anyone knew what the requirements were. The state did not know and best of all DOE did not have the requirements completed so it stands to reason that they did no know what was going to be required of the students when common core began.
    The money was there and the state had its hand out the harm that would be done by accepting the money be damned.
    Oh yeah, while I am at it the governors of the states that have accepted common core all believe that common core was their idea. Or more rightly that is what they will tell you when asked. However, this program came from the DOE.

  9. I’ll say it again: Another reason to home school your children!

  10. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this most important and revealing post. Wow! the decline is absolutely incredible! I have one personal theory: people do not read very much anymore, which affects all of their skills. They are too busy texting using an inferior language with abbreviations, and too busy watching television programs that have little to no value. Terrible!

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