Employers: Meet Your Sorry Workforce
According to the latest data from our friends who administer the ACT and SAT testing programs, our families and schools are breeding students who are steadily moving from dumb to dumber. For many of them, any task more complex than sending a text message may be too much.
Average scores for the class of 2009 in critical reading dropped to 501 from 502, in writing to 493 from 494 and held steady in math, at 515. The combined scores are the lowest this decade and reflect stalled performance over the past three years. The reading scores are the worst since 1994.
Keep in mind that these are the same high school graduates that our President wants to send to college – all of them – at taxpayer expense. Yet ACT testing revealed that only a quarter of 2009 high school graduates are actually prepared for college work.
The SAT performance data is actually worse than it looks. To coddle the feelings of disappointed parents and educators, in 1995 the SAT folks “re-centered” the SAT test scoring, effectively adding 60-70 points to all of the scores. So compared to students in earlier generations, today’s average high schooler hasn’t demonstrated an aptitude for learning much of anything of value to an employer.
So what should we do? First, take the smartest kids and teach them how to design and program robots. Teach the rest of the kids how to build, clean and maintain the robots. Then assign the robots to perform our most important jobs. That might give us a fighting chance at surviving in a competitive world.
But what will we do? Complain that standardized tests are meaningless and unfair, continue grade inflation at all levels to maintain student self-esteem, and populate our colleges and workforce with folks who acquire and retain most of their knowledge from Facebook, Twitter and TMZ.
And our leaders think that climate change is the biggest threat to our collective futures?
Photo credit: Macinate