About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

CLA+ Test Results Confirm Employers' Complaint - New Graduates Not Ready For Workplace

"The closest thing to magic is education." – South Carolina Senator Tim Scott
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The above graphs were included in the last post entitled How Trump's Budget Enhances Economic Growth & Prosperity to show that there are plenty of job opening opportunities for Americans – the fact that the graph on the left shows job openings @ an all time high while the number of hires actually slipped indicates a shortage of qualified people.  The graph on the right indicates that since the end of the last recession both the number of unqualified applicants & positions unable to be filled have steadily increased.
The U6 unemployment rate was 8.4% in May so there are still thousands of people who are marginally attached to the work force including discouraged workers & people who are working part time who want full time work to potentially fill some of these job openings.  There are also recent (five or less years since graduation) college graduates who are underemployed & 2017 college graduates, who 50% of employers in one survey, say are not ready for the workplace – source PayScale Inc. (www.payscale.com).
The PayScale survey pinpointed the deficiency of the 2017 college graduates as poor critical thinking skills & the results of the College Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) test confirm the employers' complaints.
The CLA+ test is given every year @ about 200 colleges to freshmen & seniors to measure how much better these students have learned to think as seniors compared to when they were freshman.
The WSJ reviewed some of the data for the exams given in 2013 (freshmen) & 2016 (seniors) & found that "@ more than half the schools, @ least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument, assess the quality of evidence in a document, or interpret data in a table."
The above results go hand in glove with the American Council Of Trustees & Alumni's (ACTA) findings that have been posted on this blog for years – namely, far too many students receive degrees in subjects they have not become proficient in including obtaining the thinking power that comes with a rigorous college education that will be useful to employers.
Below is a graphic from the WSJ that shows not all big name schools excel in the critical thinking field.
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Below is a graphic display from the WSJ that shows the pertinent statistics for Plymouth State University who recorded a 178 point positive change for students over the four years.  Interesting enough Plymouth State (actually in NH) is graded "F" by ACTA for academic criteria – Plymouth State's high score on the CLA+ test can be attributed to 40% of freshmen not meeting minimum critical thinking requirements meaning much of these young people's thinking, when they first took the CLA+ test as freshmen, was based on personal opinion, false impressions of life, incomplete thought processes, & in general was uninformed.  In short K to 12 education was no help to them.
As a point of comparison & much more in line with both the CLA+ & ACTA criteria are the results from the University of Georgia & California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo.  Both schools are graded "A" by ACTA for academic criteria & more than 90% of seniors @ each school are considered proficient or better in critical thinking ability.  The University of Georgia has only 3% of freshmen with deficient thinking ability & Cal Polytechnic has 8%.  Freshmen @ Georgia scored 1213 points & 1155 @ Cal Polytechnic – above or in line with seniors @ Plymouth State.
Click here to see the tabulation that includes the detailed scores of some of the schools that participate in the CLA+ test plus a sample test question & three responses – one excellent & the other two lesser so.  As a former employer I would go after the person with the high score – it is really obvious that such a person will provide services that an employer will find valuable.  The CLA+ scoring is based on analysis & problem solving, writing effectiveness, & writing mechanics.
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Below are the graphic displays from the WSJ for the CLA+ statistics for the University of Texas @ Austin, the Citadel, & the University of Louisiana @ Lafayette.  The Texas school has a net change of –3 points from the freshmen start to the seniors finish but the freshmen start is much higher than most school's seniors finish.  The Citadel has an overall poor result based on the below display which is surprising for a school with a high degree of students who become commissioned military officers upon graduation.  The Louisiana school's CLA+ statistics are woeful but the school is graded "B" for academic criteria by ACTA – the school has a 15% four-year graduation rate which explains the statistics in the below display.  The point is a prospective employer has to do an in-depth analysis on a student by student basis – i.e., he just can't look @ numbers.
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All of the above, except for a few isolated examples, show America has been on the wrong track academically for quite some time.  In order to turn our jobs picture & economy around a complete & out-&-out change in mindset is required.  This includes parents making sure their children's K to 12 schooling is good – which it certainly is not now in more than the cases provided above.  Parents & students have to stop going into debt for tens of thousands of dollars to get a useless degree from schools where the student has to fake answers on tests to placate radical socialist professors who are teaching anything & everything but free market capitalism.  A twenty-five year old unemployed or underemployed college graduate has to face that his career is passing him by – he needs additional training in another field or needs to pound the electronic pavement in his field of training to find a job now that BO is out of office.  2017 college graduates have to ask if they really do have credentials that an employer can use, & if not, take remedial courses to beef up these credentials.  People in their 30s, 40s & 50s who have seen employment decimated in their companies by foreign competition – or can see it coming – have to take appropriate positive steps to find a new field of employment rather than to look to the government.  And senior citizens must find the courage to realize & admit that the trajectory of Social Security & Medicare is not a sustainable one & senior citizens have to participate in the solution like everyone else.
In summary, everyone has to get into the act.
In Trump we have a president who wants & needs to be the jobs president
Trump, one of the most successful businessmen in the world, is working with other businessmen in many industries to increase employment by removing harmful regulations & lowering the tax burden & claims on earned income for both individuals & businesses.
Add Democrats, centrist Republicans, & any one else in political office to the above list who needs to get into the act & doesn't – if they don't help Trump succeed in his economic program throw them out of office the first chance you get.


  1. VOTE OUT ALL DEMOCRATS, is now my message, few others have now added this to their posts.

  2. Good job. Recently read a report that said same as yours - qualified workers are hard to find. Robotics field is where qualified workers are at a premium.

  3. Good read spot on to many college loans and no work ethic