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We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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We're becoming more illiterate...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...122400701.html

Study shows that literacy rates among college graduates are dropping at an alarming level.

What I found alarming was that even the prior "high" numbers werent that great. Only 40% of college graduates could read a complex book and extrapolate from it? Now 31%...

I havent read the study itself or its methodology, but that isnt stopping me from starting a discussion...
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

(), I'll follow your lead and won't read it either.
I always thought the literacy rate was going up due to the internet. Seriously, I think people read twice as much now as before the internet.
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Quote:
. . . "The declining impact of education on our adult population was the biggest surprise for us, and we just don't have a good explanation," said Mark S. Schneider, commissioner of education statistics. "It may be that institutions have not yet figured out how to teach a whole generation of students who learned to read on the computer and who watch more TV. It's a different kind of literacy."
"What's disturbing is that the assessment is not designed to test your understanding of Proust, but to test your ability to read labels," he added.
The test measures how well adults comprehend basic instructions and tasks through reading -- such as computing costs per ounce of food items, comparing viewpoints on two editorials and reading prescription labels. Only 41 percent of graduate students tested in 2003 could be classified as "proficient" in prose -- reading and understanding information in short texts -- down 10 percentage points since 1992. Of college graduates, only 31 percent were classified as proficient -- compared with 40 percent in 1992. . .
Press release versions of studies are often misleading, but this sounds pretty straight forward. College students can't follow instructions as well as they used to be able to do. And they were never very good at it to begin with.
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
Study shows that literacy rates among college graduates are dropping at an alarming level.
What if they didn't read the survey instructions prior to completing it?
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 12:44 PM   #5
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

When I went back to get a BS, I was appalled at the quality of work at the college level...
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:07 PM   #6
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Well, I think we loose a lot of respeck in the world when elete academys make this study. It just tear down this country to rest of the world.
Next thing they say Bush is pres because Amurricans are idiots. No way.
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:20 PM   #7
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Agree. I think collegiate level work has gone down in quality over the years. In my experiences there are too many professors that baby students throughout the grading process and it could be a result of - 1) the need for tuition dollars - college is big business 2) the expectations have dropped as more students are able to enter college 3) combination of factors.

I finished college and I am not as dumb as you think I is
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:21 PM   #8
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Case closed... :
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:23 PM   #9
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Bad joke but I knew I would get a response from you. Crazy Texan
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:25 PM   #10
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Too much tequila and Lone Start Beer!!

(which I wouldn't drink on a bet............)
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:43 PM   #11
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

This has to be BS. Unless one's major was basket weeving, if you graducated from college, you can read.
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 01:53 PM   #12
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

I beleevs it to be bull taco to. My edukashun were furst klass. Went to one of them thar Univercities where they leart me sum good stuff witch gots me a gud job whar I maks gud muny and I kin retir in a few yars.

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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 02:12 PM   #13
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

It's not only literacy. It's a complete and utter embracement of an anti-"intellectual" lifestyle. Don't know if any of you follow Jay Leno, but the "Jaywalking" segments are priceless (and scary).

Lest you doubt how real Los Angelenos think, consider this: my sister, moving to the East Coast offers her air conditioner to a school teacher in the same bldg. (they have narrow windows and it took her forever to find, so she thought someone in the bldg. might appreciate it).

Response: "Do you have to plug it in?"
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 02:41 PM   #14
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
This has to be BS.* Unless one's major was basket weeving, if you graducated from college, you can read.
But perhaps not spell?

Ha
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 03:37 PM   #15
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

"Literate", for the purposes of this study, connotes something much greater than what we typically think of as literate (able to read).

It looks like this study is saying, in a roundabout way, that only 31% of college graduates is proficient in critical reasoning and thinking. What I call common sense.

A lot of these "college graduates" probably received "liberal studies" degrees at Middle Southern Southwestern Podunk State University because they couldn't get into Southern Podunk State University or the semi-prestigious University of Podunk. In other words, these graduates have a sufficient level of education to do thinks like be secretaries, ask if I want cheese on my burger, or make correct change in a timely manner for me at the toll booth.

Plenty of below average, mediocre students are admitted to below average, mediocre 4 year colleges (public and private) and receive the same degree - a bachelor's - as the rest of us going to top tier public or private universities. Putting someone into the "college graduate" category doesn't really mean much, except that someone paid for them to sit through 4 years of classes.
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 03:55 PM   #16
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Congrats on post 1k!!
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 03:56 PM   #17
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
In other words, these graduates have a sufficient level of education to do thinks like be secretaries, . . .
Not to be too picky, but I expect secretaries to be literate. My secretary's job in part is to make sure apostrophes are in the right place, that there is subject-verb agreement, resolve spelling issues and other grammar issues, and make sure that I generally make sense. I tell my secretary that if she can't understand what I am saying, the client probably can't, so she should let me know when I don't make sense.

BTW, it is getting harder, at least in my community, to find secretaries with the skills we require.
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 04:34 PM   #18
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Appologies to secretaries, I was thinking of receptionists when I posted before.
But even the skills that Martha mentioned she expects from secretaries don't rise to the level of "literate" as described by the article that the OP linked to. It goes beyond the ability to read, to use correct grammar, to spell correctly, and to have a basic level of reading comprehension. The article suggests that "literate", as the study uses it, includes proficiency in reading complex texts and applying what the text presented to solve problems. Critical reasoning and thinking. But I think close to 100% of college grads have basic literacy.


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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 06:00 PM   #19
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
This has to be BS. Unless one's major was basket weeving, if you graducated from college, you can read.
Well, theres this whole comprehension and extrapolation thing one has to weev into the process.

I could 'read' an entire library of books on string theory and quantum physics, but I wouldnt recommend asking me anything about it afterwards...
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...
Old 01-09-2006, 09:27 PM   #20
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Re: We're becoming more illiterate...

Hi Guys--

As a professor teaching graduate students and doctoral students I can say from first hand experience that the quality of literacy has indeed gone down. I go over material, give them a template--and what I receive back is totally foreign to what I wanted. Someone once suggested that doctoral students take remedial reading course. Imagine--doctoral students!!!!!

I guess it is stuff like this that makes me know it's time to ER.

Professor
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