Monday, March 17, 2008

I Are Ejucated (The Dumbing Down of America)

I try not to get political or provide too much commentary of the state of the world on this blog. But, I took my college placement tests today and can't help myself. The test assesses the skill level of the student in math, reading and writing and recommends remedial courses if necessary.

Now, I haven't been in high school in a VERY long time. In fact, my own daughter is attending the same college if that gives you any idea how long it's been. So I started this test knowing I'd probably score low since it's been SO LONG. I was fully prepared to sign up for refresher courses believing college course requirements would be much more stringent today than they were in the 80s. Oh, no. I passed the reading and writing portions with a perfect score. I'm telling you folks, my daughter could have passed that test when she was ten. It was THAT easy.

But that's not the disturbing part. No, what really bothered me was the comments of the academic adviser who reviewed my scores. "Wow, you did really well." I then made some casual excuse about my math score and the fact that I hadn't been in a math class in over twenty years. She replied "No REALLY, you did REALLY well" implying I did much better than most of the kids fresh out of high school she sees. That's sad. Very, very sad.

I mean, I knew schools were having problems getting kids educated. That's why I started homeschooling my son in middle school. But I hadn't actually had an experience to speak to someone in the college admissions business to confirm the fact. It appears most of the high school graduates applying to this state wide community college are required to take basic reading, writing and math courses. I'm talking spelling and vocabulary basic, not diagram-this-sentence basic. Fractions and decimals basic, not algebra basic.

So what the heck are they doing all those years in high school? And how, prey tell, are they able to GRADUATE? At this rate, I'm thinking my son could just skip high school all together and go straight to community college.


Jennifer said...

That is sad. I went to a small state school, and was amazed at the number of my fellow students who were struggling at with their "math for the liberal arts" class... it was all fractions and such with a little basic geometry and algebra... the kind of stuff I did in 7th and 8th grade.

Good job on the tests... good you will be able to apply your efforts to something with more bearing on your degree!

Renee said...

Oh that makes me vomit. I am busting my tush to make sure I knock some knowledge in my kids' heads - one that has a fairly large learning disability - only to find that I could be snacking on Pop-Tarts and Tang all day and let the kids go wild.

Congrats on not being one of the underachievers of America.

LRC said...

Hmmmm, so I should have J go ahead and take the admissions test?

Anonymous said...

Well the basics of reading, writing and math skills don't really change. Pat yourself on the back that you were taught well, learned well and retained the information most high school educated Americans should know their entire lives. There are a lot of high school graduates who know a lot more about other subjects that pertain to "real" life than just the education taught in the 1980's.