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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Disturbing report on college literacy

A recent study finds that more than 50 percent of students at four-year colleges who are nearing graduation cannot perform such complex literary tasks as basic comprehension of newspaper editorials. The study included three types of literacy: analyzing news stories and other prose, understanding documents, and having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips. Not only couldn't they understand editorials, they had trouble analyzing credit interest rates and interpreting a table on exercise and blood pressure. Only 20 percent had the basic quantitative skills to perform such tasks as estimating the amount of gas to get to a service station. About 30 percent of two-year students had only basic math skills. The survey, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted in 2003, included 1,827 students at public and private schools.

Note again that these are college students, not grade school or high school students. If these young people have gotten to this point without picking up the basics, how are they ever going to compete in a highly-technological country, let alone a world where other countries are surpassing the U.S. on so many economic and educational fronts? Asked whether these young folk can do well enough in our knowledge-based economy, Joni Finney, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, an independent and nonpartisan group, answered with a simple "no."

Note to the administration: we're supposedly fighting to bring a "better life" to the Iraqis, but who is looking after the welfare of the American youth and their education? If knowledge is power, then we're on the verge of impotency.

Per MSNBC News.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 1/21/2006 05:53:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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