In the USA, between 1969 and 1989, the scores of high school seniors on the Scholastic Aptitude Test for college entry fell by 53 points. At most American colleges, the majority of students spend the first (and sometimes the second) year in studies that could best be described as remedial. At the beginning of the 1990s, it was reported that the New York Telephone company had to test 57,000 people to find 2,100 bright enough to become operators or repairer-installers.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the aim in Europe has been to promote an average level of competence and cater to the norm. More emphasis is put on visual learning techniques. Students are grouped not according to age or ability but based on expectations of the class.