All Dumbed Down by Smart Phones

In 2011-2012 more than 90% of 8th grade through 12th grade students in the Highland Park School District right outside of Detroit Michigan failed proficiency tests in reading, math, science and social studies. These students were, for all practical purpose,  functionally illiterate after attending school since they were six years old.  How does something like this happen?

57% of American high school graduates in 2012 are only nominally literate, and most high school graduates in 2012 are completely ill-prepared for college. Many American high school graduates now barely read and write at a fifth grade level, placing the USA in the lower percentiles on international adult literacy charts in reading, writing, math and science.

Few parents ever see what really goes on inside the American [ and European ] high school classroom unless they happen to watch their own kid’s Youtube Channel. I would guess these kids aren’t exacting forthcoming to their parents about what happens sometimes in their classes.

Watch these candid amateur videos and you will see why.  Apparently Smart Phones are making kids more stupid in many cases, or at least they aren’t helping kids to actually learn, just helping them to remain endlessly entertained and distracted in class.

And to think that the world famous corporation which produces billions of these gadgets is named “Apple” – the traditional classic icon for schools, education, learning, teachers, and classrooms. Hmmmm.

After I located some of the videos below I took a little journey on the internet seeking facts and current 2012 statistics on teenage high school graduates actual literacy rates in 2012. Oddly, I could find almost no information at all that was actually current. Most compiled stats are at least 7 to 8 years old. That void of data on this mega-issue bothered me as much as the issue itself.  If there are currently available statistics on American teenage literacy as of 2012, I am not finding the material.

Why are there almost no published reports on this issue which are available to the general public online? Here’s what I could find, which is dated, granted:

Statistics [2007]:

More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level – far below the level needed to earn a living wage.
(National Institute for Literacy, Fast Facts on Literacy, 2001)

50 percent of American adults are unable to read an eighth grade level book.
(Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America)

A Peek Into the Secret Lives of Middle School and High School Students in the 21st Century:

And just in case you thought this only happened to teenagers in class, watch this:

A few other sobering facts about American Teenage Literacy  2012:

30 million adults have “below basic” literacy skills, with more than half of those scoring at this level not having a high school diploma or GED.  This translates to nearly 1 out of every 6 adults, age 25 and older, across the country.

Cited from

U.S. Scores Poorly Internationally. The U.S. is the only country among 30 OECD free-market countries where the current generation is less well educated than the previous one.

High School Dropout Rates Are Staggering. Every year, one in three young adults—more than 1.2 million people—drop out of high school.

Low Parent Learning Affects Children. One in four U.S. working families is low-income, and one in five children lives in poverty. Parents and caregivers in many of these households lack the education and skills to earn a family-sustaining wage.

Low Literacy in Burgeoning Prison Population. One in every 100 U.S. adults 16 and older is in prison or jail in America.  About 43 percent do not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and 56 percent have very low literacy skills.

Large and Growing English Language and Literacy Need. About 2 million immigrants come to the U.S. each year seeking jobs and better lives—the promise of America. About 50 percent of them have low literacy levels and lack high school education and English language skills, severely limiting their access to jobs and job training, college, and citizenship.