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The Lost American Generation

by Eileen F. Toplansky

James Stevens Curl has recently written how he has “become increasingly concerned with creeping dumbing-down, not least in the field of education, where it became obvious to [him] many years ago that standards were dropping through the floor in the dishonest campaign by politicians and professional ‘educators’ to claim that they were getting better every year, with resulting ‘grade-inflation.'”  He “devised some very simple tests … regarding ambitions, interests, hobbies, the results of which were shocking, quite apart from that fact that the answers to [his] questioning revealed a void, a scary emptiness, untempered by any evidence of intellectual curiosity, cultural foundations, or much else besides.”

Moreover, Curl “selected a short paragraph from a published work, and asked candidates to read.”  “Many stumbled over some quite common words, but one could not read at all.  Only very few were able to get through the paragraph fluently, without making mistakes.  Simple tests in spelling, use of punctuation, and so on revealed abysmal ignorance.  It was obviously a massive lie, a confidence-trick, a disgraceful piece of jingoistic nonsense for politicians and pundits to claim for the nation a ‘world-class education,’ getting better every year.”…

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