Wednesday, June 7, 2023

America’s Hatred For Merit Is Leading Us To Total Incompetence: What we should expect in the coming years is a widespread crisis of competence afflicting every nook and cranny of American life

Image Credit: Harvard University/YouTube
What we should expect in the coming years is a widespread crisis of competence afflicting every nook and cranny of American life.
With every new revelation of how dumb and incompetent our nation has become, there has been an increasingly desperate push to blame it all on the pandemic, whether learning loss or long Covid brain fog or the general stress of the Covid era.
Well, here is one indicator we cannot blame on the pandemic because it has been flashing red since 2006. In a startling reversal of what is known as “the Flynn effect” — the name for the phenomenon in which average IQs had been rising at the rate of 3-5 points per decade since 1932 — a recent study charting the results of nearly 400,000 IQ test samples shows that Americans’ IQs have actually been dropping since 2006, with an effect especially pronounced among those aged 18 to 22.
The core skills of verbal reasoning (general knowledge, logic, vocabulary), matrix reasoning (nonverbal reasoning such as visual problem solving), and letter and number series (computation and mathematical reasoning) all declined.
The authors suggest the quality of our education is the most likely culprit: “[I]t could be the case that our results indicate a change of quality or content of education and test-taking skills within this large United States sample.”
It is apparent from many objective markers that the caliber of education has decreased, especially after the 2020 George Floyd riots brought wildly hyperbolic claims of “systemic racism” and diversity politicking to the highest value in the educational pantheon.
School systems have begun to eliminate honors classes, and advanced placement courses are also being cut. Gifted education has also been under attack, whether in the form of directly eliminating gifted programs, replacing merit-based admissions to selective schools with lottery systems, instituting zip code quotas, or infusing considerations of so-called racial “equity” into the admissions process.
Mathematics curricula focused on finding correct answers to problems have been branded as furthering white supremacy. Watered-down alternatives supported by questionable research have been adopted instead.
History has likewise been under attack — and not in the way imagined by those who claim conservatives are trying to whitewash history. Scores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have shown eighth graders’ knowledge of basic history declining since 2014, well before critical race theory was on the national radar, with a further precipitous decline between 2018 and 2022. As of 2014, 29 percent of students who were tested did not meet the lowest “basic” benchmark. By 2022, that percentage had risen to a still more astonishing 40 percent.
Grades have been rising, while SAT scores have been falling. Average performance is supposed to earn C’s, not A’s. Even as recently as 1990, it was still in reasonable C+/B- territory. But the percentage of high schoolers with an A average went up from an already absurd 38.9 percent in 1998 to a still more absurd 47 percent in 2016. And this is not because kids today are wowing teachers with their stellar performance. Average SAT scores, which reveal the ignorance and incompetence that inflated grades conceal, fell from 1026 to 1002 on a 1600-point scale over the same period. --->READ MORE HERE
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