The kids aren’t alright

For years, it has been reported how the Millenial Generation was going to be the most tech-savvy, intelligent generation ever.  The generation that was going to change the world into a technological utopia.

Not!  The Washington Post reports that the millenials are not as smart as was previously reported:

This exam, given in 23 countries, assessed the thinking abilities and workplace skills of adults. It focused on literacy, math and technological problem-solving. The goal was to figure out how prepared people are to work in a complex, modern society.

And U.S. millennials performed horribly.

***

No matter how you sliced the data – by class, by race, by education – young Americans were laggards compared to their international peers. In every subject, U.S. millennials ranked at the bottom or very close to it, according to a new study by testing company ETS.

“We were taken aback,” said ETS researcher Anita Sands. “We tend to think millennials are really savvy in this area. But that’s not what we are seeing.”

***

Top-scoring U.S. millennials – the 90th percentile on the PIAAC test – were at the bottom internationally, ranking higher only than their peers in Spain. The bottom percentile (10th percentile) also lagged behind their peers. And the gap between America’s best and worst was greater than the gap in 14 other countries.

***

The study called into question America’s educational credentialing system. While few American test-takers lacked a high school degree, the United States didn’t perform any better than countries with relatively high rates of failing to finish high school. And our college graduates didn’t perform well, either.

This test and study just confirmed what I already knew — the vaunted “tech savvy” millenials are dumber than rocks.  You’re not “tech savvy” when all you can do with technology is spend hours every day staring at a screen and drooling on yourself.  I saw a lot of this since 2012 in my classes, where students spent the lecture playing games, texting, tweeting, and/or Facebooking/Instagramming.  Vox nailed it here:

Generation X had to understand its toys in order to play with them. There is nothing creative about a tablet or a smartphone. You can’t do anything on it. It’s basically a dumb terminal on the mainframe of the Internet. These digital natives are actually digital cargo cultists, comfortably familiar using things they don’t actually know the first thing about.  As far as they’re concerned, it might as well be magic.

And of course, when they failed an exam or the class, it was never their fault.  No, I was the jerk who was thwarting their dreams of being a software engineer even when they had a hard time doing simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Calculus?  Not gonna happen.

These are the same kids who expect to earn $100,000 a year within 3 years of ‘graduating’ from college.  These are the same kids who don’t understand something as simple as supply and demand.  And these are the same kids who are going to be controlling the political process in the future, because their demographic group is larger than that of the baby boomers.

I expect that the only thing that will come from this are more cries from the education industry about how they need more of your money to spend on these idiots.  Because “it’s for the children”, you big meanies…

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Categories: Bad News Everyone!, Education, Job Skills, Stupid People, Winter is coming

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