We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Some truth in it, but mostly a myth. I've been reading how stupid American students are since I was one myself, and that's many years ago now. Somehow they still go out and run the world. Perhaps we should give more credit to our economic system for that, but the schools must be doing some decent preparation.
I would love to tell you that the tests they use measure what they say they do, because I'm exceptionally good at them and could claim to be smarter than all of you. But "achievement" tests are darn similar to IQ tests and have a lot of overlap in scoring. And IQ tests measure g-factor remarkably well (don't let anyone tell you they don't), but they don't measure other aspects of "smart." I'm not convinced by the theory of multiple intelligences, though there's some value to it, but adaptability, discerning whether a problem even has a closed answer, calculated risk, and spontaneous social organization are not well measured by tests. The latter especially is missing in most other nations. If you spend much time even with adults in an ambiguous situation, you find yourself shaking your head and thinking "a group of American 5th-graders could organise better than this." In most countries, the few who have that ability create systems for the others to follow.
It's at least partly learnable, BTW. My sons came from Romania at 14 and 16 and picked it up to something near the American average in a few years. It may come entirely from a culture that tolerates risk.
Assistant Village Idiot