First, let me say that in my experience, this is a long trend, not a rapid recent trend. I've been an "old guy" long enough to have seen this for a long time. It just keeps getting "worse". Second, I'm not drinking the Kool-aid on the "it is all the fault of the schools" nonsense. The simple fact of the matter is that on average, humans are not very bright. You have to get a few sigma above the norm before you find people who can put together a good sentence. Smart people learn this easily despite poor schooling. Less smart people will do better with really great schooling, but won't ever be as good at it as those who naturally excel in that area. Third, the real problem here is the increasing notion in our society (fueled mostly by the declining availability of jobs requiring a lower skill level) that "everyone should go to college". Way back in the olden-days when I was finishing high-school, only those of us who sat at the front of the class had any plans to attend college. Not everyone was expected to do work typical of an "office job", let alone a more skilled profession. Most people were factory workers and other blue-collar types. There's nothing wrong with that. They were good at it and it was needed. Put those same people in college and then try to make programmers out of them, and you soon have the 4 or 5 sigma crowd saying all the young people are stupid (or the teachers are stupid). No, the schools are failing at turning washing-machine assembly people into programmers and bloggers. Big surprise there. What is missing is appropriate jobs and expectations for people who are not equipped with the hardware needed to be academic types. Capitalism and technology are moving us out of an era where there was more or less accidentally a good mix of jobs and skill levels. We are increasingly moving into an era where the unplanned mix of skill levels required of people is unrealistic. We just went where the technology took us and did not "design" a world that makes sense for the majority of the population. We should come to understand that we need to design a society that has a proper place for all of its people. Stop trying to force the bulk of humanity to be "information workers". They are not good at it and they don't like doing it. If we are really smart, we should be able to build a world where they can fit in well rather than trying to make them fit the world that we've blindly stumbled into.