Thursday, April 30, 2015

Millenials: It's Not Your Fault

It's tough being a millennial. It seems that the group that's now between 18 and 34 doesn't get a break. Having taught a lot of them, and liking a lot of them, I hate to bring more bad news. The problem is it's easy to blame a generation, if one refuses to look at the teachers union and how they failed to teach that generation.
The Educational Testing Service took a look at the Programme for the International Assessments of Adult Competencies. This showed that the millennials badly lag those in other countries in numeracy, literacy and problem solving skills.
In fact the scariest figure is that out of 22 countries, the United States was 21st in numeracy. In other words they don't know crap about how to use numbers to solve problems.
The Democratic Party has an Achilles' heel. While there's so many things you can blame  the Republicans for, the Democratic Party loves teachers unions. Teachers unions pay for the Democratic Party to compete against Republicans in elections. If you want me to feel glad about that, I refuse. I never vote for Republicans but the teachers unions have so dumbed down education in America as to make K-12 a pointless exercise.
Only the Spanish (in Spain) had lower numeracy rates than Americans. As a college professor I would find seniors who had trouble reading. I had to cancel an exercise in a journalism class, because no one knew how to do a percentage.
How are you supposed to compete with students from Shanghai, Singapore, Korea and all the other 17 countries that got a better education than you did. The simple fact is, you can't. Blaming a generation for being cheated by the teachers union seems disingenuous. Millennials, you could only deal with the material you were being taught. So let's stop kicking a generation, and make sure this degradation of pedagogy stops immediately

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