Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Literacy & Education Decline In America


Literacy in America is not improving. Reading scores in schools are declining. Grade inflation and opt-out testing is legitimizing a generation of underachievers. Why is this happening and what can be done about it? 

Every generation criticizes each other. The young think they know it all. Older generations think our youth is not living up to its standards. Maybe both are true, but something is very wrong with a society when we are producing, arguably, dumber and less-skilled people. 

ACT scores, once a litmus test for gaining college entrance, like the SAT, are down over the past two decades. The number of people taking these tests are in decline. The number of colleges requiring it of their applicants is dramatically decreasing as well. Young people are evidently graduating high school with fewer raw skills in regards to reading, writing, and math. 

We need to up our game and to increase our requirements, not lower them. We must increase teaching and learning efforts, and as a result, the abilities of our next generation will rise. 

Instead, because too many coddling parents don't want their kids anxious about a test, allow them to opt-out. And if one takes the test and does not do well, the system simply allows you to not report them it.  Too many schools want minorities to not have to take a test that may reveal holes in their resume. What is wrong with our nation, sinking to the lowest common denominator, striving to collectively bring everyone down to a low standard rather than aspiring to get others to reach a higher one? 

Schools are failing us.  They give less homework and demand fewer reading assignments. The acceptance of any idea and tolerance of everything leads to little emphasis on anything.  

Our moral compass is broken. The inability for society to have winners — because then you have losers — is hurting everyone. We need consequential competition to inspire people to greater heights vs having the masses content with equality at the underperforming side of the pool. 

Yes, there are lazy and jaded teachers. And they are challenged to teach a record number of diagnosed learning-disabled kids. More medicated kids. More distracted kids. 

Many schools lack printed textbooks. Kids no longer read textbooks! 

Kids are not given enough writing assignments. Many kids are too anxious to learn. Many kids are confused by gender activism and the overwhelming number of messages on queer people, women's rights, etc. Discussions of racism outpace pure lessons on learning skills and facts.  

Kids have to navigate social media bullying, limit Internet distractions, and wade through fake facts and propaganda campaigns. 

There are no easy answers and it nay not just be a matter of throwing more money at this. But I know this: Our society — schools, households, and businesses — must do better and look to improve things rather than redefining standards and creating a system of diluted equality.

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.9 million pageviews. With 4,900+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. His first published book was The Florida Homeowner, Condo, & Co-Op Association Handbook.  It was featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.

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