The Lost American Generation

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."

In fact, American education has been sliding into the abyss for 50-plus years.  The forerunner to affirmative action was open enrollment.  Begun in the late 1960s, the result was that ill prepared students were suddenly thrust into a college environment and expected to keep up with the still rigorous college expectations.  I tutored many of these students, and to this day, I still recall asking them to use a thesaurus.  They did not know what it was or how to use it.

Fast forward a half-century, and my now-college students still do not know what a thesaurus is.  But why should they?  Spelling rules, vocabulary expansion, grammar instruction, geographical knowledge have all been deliberately cast aside.  These young people may be the most credentialed students, but they are the least educated.  It has been a purposeful and highly successful left-wing maneuver to create an "educated" class of serfs who will eventually do the left's bidding.

The following are examples of the work I receive from what I now call the "lost generation."  Nothing has been edited.

After reading "Marriage is a Private Affair" by Chinua Achebe:

Why people avoid marriage could be that they are not ready for marriage yet, based off of being a certain sexuality in a place where that sexuality is illegal, or based off of sexual orientation, like asexuality and/or aromantic.


My second takeaway is really a takeaway but when, "we all have the tendency to look at other cultures through the lens of our own."  Is stated, I really think that was deep[.]


I believe people avoid marriage because their scared of commitment and they scared the other person will leave such as if a girl leave a guy and they had a child she takes half of everything whether they worked on getting it together or the man earned it himself and due to this happening in other marriages people are scared to commit.

As far as punctuation goes, the period is nonexistent.  Connecting words such as and, because, since, so are never used.  Comma splice errors, or run-on sentences, mean nothing to the majority of the students.

It is painful to watch them hunt for the continent of Africa when I put up a map.  Finding actual countries — e.g., Nigeria — is further indictment of what has been ignored in their 12-plus years of education.

After I attempted to teach them about the Bill of Rights, one student stated:

You make a good point about making reference of the 60s or 70s. I kind of understand the history of the US regarding this topic. In this sense I think the US is 100 years behind most of the countries around the globe. It is just a strategy of supremacy and power because it is better and easier to govern over people when they think they are different for their believe system than over people that believe that we are all equals because union makes us stronger. 

The student's abject ignorance about American exceptionalism and freedoms is fully evident.  But Marxist ideology and hatred for America are certainly front and center

After reading "Underground Fathers" by Wil Haygood, one student wrote:

In My own experience, in childhood in 2001 and in 2004 my biological earthly father abandon me twice when I was eight years old and eleven years old. My only male figures was my one of my uncles, one of my older male cousins, and heavenly father as my only male figures and leader

After being instructed on how to write an email:

Writing memos and emails can be beneficial because, I can avoid using a pen and paper to hand write it, it can be done by computer. I can send a short email or memo instead of a long dread out one.  Making sure my tone do not come off bad.

After being asked to decide whether dihydrogen monoxide should be banned, 98% of the students said, "Absolutely."  They had no idea that they were outlawing water.

After being asked to comment on a personal narrative titled "I had a stroke at age 31," students (some of them plan to be nurses) had no idea what a stroke is, or where the aorta or femoral artery is located.

In discussing the Garden of Eden, I am met with blank stares.  Biblical references are a foreign topic.  When I discuss Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and casually ask who Jesus is, only a few students know.  I am no longer shocked that they don't know who Abraham Lincoln or George Washington is.  But not knowing Jesus renders me speechless.

But, fully marinated in leftist/Marxist ideology, students are now asked to "demonstrate skill in college-level writing, reading and critical thinking and demonstrate an understanding of the contributions to knowledge that have been made by members of diverse cultural and gender groups and other historically marginalized people" (emphasis mine) as they decipher David Epstein's "Testosterone and the Transgender Athlete."  Epstein's piece states the following:

Ms. Miller is transgender, running in one of 17 states that allow high school athletes to compete as the gender they identify with, whether or not they have had medical intervention.

So if you say you are transgender, that is good enough to compete in the other sex's race.  And how easily the term "medical intervention" is glossed over — why mention penis removal, mastectomy, and drugs that cause infertility?  The biologically ignorant won't even know to ask.

Data are the best evidence available that a year of testosterone suppression is reasonable for competitive fairness among distance runners who were born male and transition to female.  

But no one really knows just how well this rule works on a sport-by-sport basis. "For cardiovascular factors, transwomen go from typical men to typical women after transition[.]"

What, pray tell, is a typical man or a typical woman in this word salad of vagueness?

In essence, the exam has nothing to do with critical thinking, but it has everything to do with indoctrination.  Insinuating the idea of transgenderism into the minds of students abets leftist radical ideology.

But what can one expect when "Cambridge University is 'encouraging' students and staff to use gender-neutral forms of the German language where appropriate"?

Gender-neutral German 'must' be included in professors' syllabi despite the fact that 'gender as a grammatical category is part of native speakers' language competence[.]

In 2016, I penned an article titled "How Can I Possibly Grade These Students?"  One of many writers railing against what was happening, I ardently hoped that the education establishment would return to the basics, that grade inflation would cease and the once superior American educational standards would re-emerge.

Six years later, the situation is even worse as the left deliberately controls the young minds of America.  The deceit is unconscionable as the ivory tower continues to crumble.

Eileen can be reached at

Image: geralt via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

If you experience technical problems, please write to