Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Literacy Of College Graduates Is On Decline

Survey's Finding of a Drop in Reading Proficiency Is Inexplicable, Experts Say

By Lois Romano - Sunday, December 25, 2005 - Washington Post

Literacy experts and educators say they are stunned by the results of a recent adult literacy assessment, which shows that the reading proficiency of college graduates has declined in the past decade, with no obvious explanation.

"It's appalling -- it's really astounding," said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and a librarian at California State University at Fresno. "Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder."

What makes this article so curious is the surprise that "literacy experts" show at the results. I spent most of the last 30 years as an executive in business, and my interviews of college graduates over that period does not cause me any surprise at the results. My only surprise is that the decline has not been recordable over a longer period. It seems to me that the deterioration goes back more like 20 years than 10.

Even in blogging, an area of which I am quite fond, the number of people who cannot carry on a decent disagreement and where the difference between facts and opinions is quite clear, fail to communicate at even the basic level you might expect. A large majority cannot tell the difference between fact and opinion, and an even larger majority cannot follow anything but the simplest of logic relationships.

Who can you blame except our educators? Yet you ask any of them and they have a litany of excuses as to why teaching feel good pabulum and the importance of accepting gays and other politically correct views on society's so-called ills without question cannot possibly be the problem. The correlation between the acceptance of this view of education and the deterioration in the ability to think, has to be just coincidence . . . . as far as they are concerned.


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