American students: Dumber and more woke | Eastern North Carolina Now

By:  Delma Blinson

Are our students, products of American public education, getting dumber as time goes by?  Ask any professor with more than a couple of decades experience teaching at the university level and you are more than likely to get an affirmative answer.  Notwithstanding the obvious fact that the assessment cannot legitimately be applied to an individual student, the conclusion of overall mendacity is nearly impossible to refute.

I’ve told this tale before but it seems fitting to repeat it here.

For twenty years I taught a law course in the School of Education at ECU.  The first chapter of lectures was “Legal Reasoning.”  In it we considered inductive versus deductive reasoning, syllogistic reasoning, rule-based reasoning, analogical reasoning etc.  But in the final element of this chapter we considered “falsities.”  I presented several examples to illustrate false reasoning.  Back in the day it was entirely appropriate to say:  “look at the person on your right and based on the visible evidence conclude whether that person is a man or a woman.”  (Those were the good ole days).  The next example was to suggest that such visual clues could often lead to false conclusions.  (Little did I realize that within twenty years this false reasoning would be so apparent.)

Being a course for school principals and superintendents, I concluded the exercise with this example:  Your next task is to prove this statement  to be true or prove it to be false.  “Black students are dumber than white students.”  Consider this evidence:  If you do a correlation between how well a school does on standardized tests (reading or math) you will find more studies that show an R value of more than +7 between test scores and the percentage of minority students in any random set of schools.  Ditto the difference in performance among teachers in a school.  The higher the percentage of minority students the lower the scores are for the set of teachers in that school.  Consider then the NTE (National Teachers Exam).  The average NTE score of graduates of predominately black colleges is invariably lower than the scores of predominately white colleges.  Finally, ask a real estate agent in virtually any community which are the most desirable schools in a district in which to sell a house and you will find that the answers are highly correlated to the percentage of minority students in those schools.  Literally millions of dollars in real estate transactions have occurred as a result of that reasoning.

The lesson concluded with:  “well, that’s all the time we have for today.  Next session be prepared to defend your conclusion of whether The Statement is true or false.”

Over the years I found that a declining portion of each class applied correct reasoning to the analysis of The Statement.  Of course, the correct answer is some version of:  While the evidence presented appears to support the conclusion that The Statement is correct, because of other variables (ex. Past discrimination, socio-economic status, or even father’s highest grade completed etc.) may not be the true cause of the variance in achievement, thus The Statement is false because it cannot be deductively determined to be absolutely true, it must therefore be deemed false.

Over the years the portion of each class to come back with the correct conclusion decreased significantly over time.  So could I correctly conclude that students were becoming dumber over time?  At the time that did not bother me because I was privileged to teach some of the brightest people I have ever known.

But for me, the really interesting thing about this exercise was the response of my administrative superiors to the complaints they inevitably received from a few students.  For over twenty years this was no problem.  Then, it suddenly became a major problem for my Department Chair.  While he never, ever observed my teaching, he rated me low in my annual evaluation one year and his only explanation for doing so was the complaint (yes, singular) he had received.  When I explained the exercise in false reasoning he demurred to “well, some students may be offended by that example.”  Thus, my first introduction of political correctness, or in today’s vernacular, wokeness.

So, you will pardon my disdain for wokeness if you consider how false reasoning became the politically correct norm in recent years.  And I will leave it to you to guess what the Department Chair’s race was.

Now, with that introduction, I offer this article from the American  American Students.  Dumber but more woke.  And I might add:  as well as some university administrators.

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( February 14th, 2023 @ 8:32 am )
Charles: There is so much money in government now; so much to spend with the public, so much to waste in spite of the public. To that ignoble end over recent years, the People have not taken a real, corrective stand in the education of OUR children, and many other important issue as well.

That needs to end NOW. From the general assembly, to the county commissioners, to school boards, where you now serve, change must be afoot.

I have found recently that I can only go so far with the county commissioners, so you MUST push the envelope with the school board.

In the meantime, I will work with others to make the appropriate political changes as are needed and when possible to do so, while the Center Leftists are more than welcome to come after me, and then ... We'll see who wins in the end.
( February 10th, 2023 @ 12:09 pm )
These two articles are about reasoning and the phenomenon of declining IQ scores in our population.
Big Bob said:
( February 10th, 2023 @ 9:30 am )
I’m sorry but none of that is true. Learning history, the good , bad, and ugly makes us stronger and better. Shame and fear are hallmarks of the weak.
( February 10th, 2023 @ 7:02 am )
Wokeness is incompatible with discernment and logic. As Critical Theory is increasingly applied to our society, we can expect more and more decline of IQ in our population. For the good our future, this is a problem that must be addressed.

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