Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

APNewsBreak: Nearly 1 in 4 fails military exam
Associated Press ^ | December 21, 2010 | CHRISTINE ARMARIO/DORIE TURNER

Posted on 12/21/2010 5:00:59 PM PST by Baladas

MIAMI — Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the military fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions.

The report by The Education Trust found that 23 percent of recent high school graduates don't get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. The study, released exclusively to The Associated Press on Tuesday, comes on top of Pentagon data that shows 75 percent of those aged 17 to 24 don't qualify for the military because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn't graduate high school.

"Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed forces," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. "I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America's underperforming education system."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: duplicate; literacy; military; publiceducation; standarizedtests
This is very sad news and a quite troubling statistic on the state of American public school education. The answer MUST be to repeal DADT now.
1 posted on 12/21/2010 5:01:06 PM PST by Baladas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Baladas

The very nerve of these people. To think the military has the right to selectively discriminate against idiots! Idiots have rights too, y’know.


2 posted on 12/21/2010 5:04:38 PM PST by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Nuke the corrupt commie bastards to HELL!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson

May I suggest that you check out, among others, some of the entries by young people on Facebook. These kids sound illiterate!!


3 posted on 12/21/2010 5:09:06 PM PST by JayVee (Joseph)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

Already saw this via a private mail list. Here’s what I said:

Our entire schooling system is a disgrace.

People interested in this should read something, anything,
by John Taylor Gatto. I particularly recommend his =Underground
History of American Education=. It is available for free on
the Internet (http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/) but
I suggest buying a copy. It’s too big and too much to read on
a computer.

The relevant chapter to this topic is Chapter #3 which is available
at http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/3print.html . If reading
this doesn’t cause you to buy the whole book, then there is probably
no hope for you as regards this subject.

ML/NJ


4 posted on 12/21/2010 5:10:09 PM PST by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

75 percent of those aged 17 to 24 don’t qualify for the military because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn’t graduate high school....

But being a fudge packer or carpet licker is ok.


5 posted on 12/21/2010 5:10:19 PM PST by maddog55 (OBAMA, You can't fix stupid...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas
The study also found disparities across states, with Wyoming having the lowest ineligibility rate, at 13 percent, and Hawaii having the highest, at 38.3 percent.

Look for Obama to funnel money to his buddies in Hawaii.

6 posted on 12/21/2010 5:11:16 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

On the other hand, if you score high in all categories the recruiting office will be peaking in your window at night with faux checks for thousands of dollars.

Doing well on the ASVAB has its negatives too....


7 posted on 12/21/2010 5:12:52 PM PST by struggle ((The struggle continues))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

Unless the ASVAB has changed, a 6th grader with reasonable thinking skills should be able to pass it.

I remember some VERY poor students who generally couldn’t pass their way out of an open-book, answers given to them, test that passed the ASVAB - one that became a “very high recruiting target” after scoring very high on it (this kid was one of the worst students - academically speaking - that I ever encountered - and definitely someone I wouldn’t have trusted with a pocket knife, much less firearms and other weapons systems the US Military use).

I am curious about something - Who all are they including in these statistics? I know that some public schools actually REQUIRE students to take the ASVAB (the school I use to be employed by required it of Juniors). I knew many students who intentionally marked stupid answers just so that they wouldn’t hear from recruiters...

Not every person who takes the ASVAB is trying to get into the military.


8 posted on 12/21/2010 5:14:42 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maddog55
But being a fudge packer or carpet licker is ok.

I believe that the correct term is "filthy sodomite", but your terms work, too.

9 posted on 12/21/2010 5:15:24 PM PST by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: JayVee

Well, apparently one fourth of them are illiterate and another fourth are homosexual and another fourth are good little socialists in training. Our government run public indoctrination centers at work.


10 posted on 12/21/2010 5:16:25 PM PST by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Nuke the corrupt commie bastards to HELL!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

They can still get a law degee from Harvard and edit the Law Review.


11 posted on 12/21/2010 5:16:31 PM PST by Da Coyote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

One of the most demoralizing tours I ever had was when I was detailed to a MEPS station. The stupidity that our public education system generates is simply breathtaking. You would be amazed how many CatVs there are, especially considering by the time they’ve reached MEPS, they’ve been at least pre-screened to be high school graduates or have a GED. It’s amazing how many have diplomas but are - for all practical purposes - functionally illiterate.


12 posted on 12/21/2010 5:18:29 PM PST by OldDeckHand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas
I was in the 96th percentile when I took the ASVAB back in the early 80's, and this article really alarms me, because I didn't think it was all that much of an intellectual wrestling match, given the questions they presented at the time. The microwave/Nintendo generation is in grave danger of devolving into a race of slack-jawed, swinging-loined, government-dependent laborers, just the way their overlords have planned it.

Props to cripplecreek for the graphics!

13 posted on 12/21/2010 5:18:39 PM PST by Viking2002 (2012 - NO PRISONERS! NO QUARTER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

The hope part of the “HOPIE/CHANGIE” scam is the hope that all the faggots are in the 25% that fail.

Because if they get in and get thru boot camp and into a close combat outfit, they’re gonna wind up buried out in the training areas.

“PFC Bruce Bagadonuts, having been AWOL for 30 days, is now declared a deserter.”


14 posted on 12/21/2010 5:19:46 PM PST by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (All sweat, no equity)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

“”U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. “I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America’s underperforming education system.””

Jeez Arnie - where have you been for the past 40 years? It’s your people who have made sure students don’t learn anything. They aren’t there to learn. They are there to be indoctrinated. Don’t pretend to be surprised or disappointed. You got what you wanted - a dumbed down society courtesy of the dems in this country! National Security? What’s that to dems?


15 posted on 12/21/2010 5:20:28 PM PST by Thank You Rush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

Don’t worry, the recruiting office is overflowing in Haight-Ashbury.


16 posted on 12/21/2010 5:21:09 PM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas
So..after screening out the dregs...as I see this...It means the US Military is getting the Brightest & the Best...(ever the optimist I are)
17 posted on 12/21/2010 5:25:41 PM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus - Domari Nolo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maddog55

Perhaps some children are being left behind. If only we could send them all to quality private christian schools, I’m sure they would learn more.


18 posted on 12/21/2010 5:27:48 PM PST by thenooch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Baladas; All
The Education Trust

Does anyone here really think these people are concerned about our military or the childrunz?

This is about trying to funnel more taxpayer money into the public Skrool System!

19 posted on 12/21/2010 5:30:48 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Thank You Rush

Not to worry. We’ll just throw a trillion or two more money into the edumacashun system. Nothing a little more in tax loot can’t solve.


20 posted on 12/21/2010 5:33:50 PM PST by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Nuke the corrupt commie bastards to HELL!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

The probelm with our society is that we have completely broken down all standards based on the retarded idea that somehow upholding standards is discriminatory. Political correctness follows suit.
We have failed as a society to uphold and enforce basic social standards and we are reaping the failure of our collective cowardice.
Yeah, I took the test. Yeah, it’s pretty stinking easy. And I’m not that smart. C- student all through high school.


21 posted on 12/21/2010 5:51:18 PM PST by vpintheak (Obama sez I'm an enemy and I will be punished. My Savior has overcome the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baladas
A qualification test should have a substantial failure rate -- or else what the heck are we testing? And the ASBAB testing cut-off should be hard. Weapons systems are continually growing in complexity. The nature of "small war" deployments pushes down significant responsibility -- and requirements for exercise of judgment -- to the squad and even fire-team level. The days in which repetitive training, and close supervision, could make a useful soldier out of a person of marginal intelligence are long gone.
22 posted on 12/21/2010 6:03:05 PM PST by only1percent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: only1percent

Already posted earlier this afternoon...

Search folks...search before posting...

=8-)


23 posted on 12/21/2010 6:08:16 PM PST by =8 mrrabbit 8=
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj

Gatto bump - I greatly recommend his work.


24 posted on 12/21/2010 6:09:52 PM PST by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: maddog55

Also add that they cannot pass the ASVAB.

Google ASVAB. Try their math first.See how you do. Borders sells a study guide.


25 posted on 12/21/2010 6:25:05 PM PST by Lumper20
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

“Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the military fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions.”

But the really important question is: how’s their self-esteem?


26 posted on 12/21/2010 6:26:10 PM PST by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: =8 mrrabbit 8=

noob


27 posted on 12/21/2010 6:33:16 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: metmom; Tired of Taxes; wintertime; JenB; little jeremiah; Impy; fieldmarshaldj

This is a frightening development which effects national security. Of all the reasons to homeschool, is this the best reason yet?


28 posted on 12/21/2010 8:14:51 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (Illegal aliens commit crimes that Americans won't commit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lumper20

I past with flying colors and got the Navy Job I wanted.. 30 years ago.


29 posted on 12/22/2010 4:02:31 PM PST by maddog55 (OBAMA, You can't fix stupid...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

Who needs a literate military? The Democrats and a handful of GOP scum last week, with the repeal of DADT, mandated that the military MUST ACCEPT people with mental and emotional disorders. So being able to read and write and perform basic arithmetic matters?

Pray for America.


30 posted on 12/22/2010 4:07:26 PM PST by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maddog55

Good for you.


31 posted on 12/22/2010 5:45:10 PM PST by Lumper20
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Baladas

Some good commentary on this story from Jerry Pournelle. I recommend him highly. Like this site, there is a learning curve to his site, but it’s worth it. It is more of a news commentary blog, not a forum, though he does post lots of mail from his readers.

The following from here: http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2010/Q4/view654.html#Wednesday

This article with its cry of despair lead was in today’s Daily News along with some sample questions. It is certainly a condemnation of the school system, since all those who take the test have a high school education or GED equivalent. According to this article, only about 25% of those age 17 to 24 are even eligible to take the test. I haven’t been following the changes to the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) but it used to be a rather good IQ test.

One presumes that none of the military services want recruits with IQ 85 or below. That’s one standard deviation below the normal of 100. IQ 85 is considered below normal, but do understand that IQ tests — and the AFQT test is pretty well an IQ test however they try to manipulate it — measure abilities to do abstract reasoning. IQ 85 people can do many highly complex tasks that require skill training rather than educated reasoning, and they don’t get so bored by doing them as nerds do. You don’t need to be really smart to operate the same equipment every day; you do need some smarts if they change machinery on you. Same is true with weapons and much else.

At one time there were plenty of Army jobs for low IQ soldiers. Gun captains in the artillery needed smarts; loaders not so much, and those who got the ammunition to the guns didn’t need smarts, they needed endurance, and the ability to function in situations of absolute madness. Singleminded devotion to getting that projectile from the revetment to the breech while crap is falling all around you is not particularly well correlated with IQ.

There are fewer such tasks in modern armies.

The basic minimum IQ admitted to the Legions is something worth debating and discussing. One would not expect IQ 85 - 90 soldiers to be promoted to leadership no matter how long they serve, and we do not have any provisions for “career privates”, just as this Army doesn’t have career captains. This may be the right policy.

The requirement for a high school diploma pretty well eliminates IQ 90 and below. That leaves about 80% of the population. Many of those are eliminated by criminal records or physical disabilities.

Is a 25% failure rate among those taking the test so very low given out modern military? And is this cause to worry? It is cause to wonder about the effectiveness of the school system, but we have long known that. The public school system is not organized to teach skills and discipline to the left hand side of the bell curve, and by trying to educate everyone in the system it compromises on education for those who need education while doing little for those who need skill training. We don’t give the potential officers and non-coms the education they need because so many resources are used trying to give everyone a “world class university prep education” when everyone can’t use that. As we have observed, no child left behind has some really grim unintended consequences.

That 25% of those taking the AFQT don’t pass is a matter of concern, but we should be even more concerned about what we are trying to get that 25% to learn — and whether we have taught enough and the right things to those who did pass. It ought also to raise some concerns about what we are teaching in high schools.

The schools are awful. The remedy is well known: fire the worst 10% of the teachers, and we can increase school effectiveness by about 50%. That doesn’t translate directly, but it roughly would mean that instead of 25% failure of the AFQT the result would be closer to a 15% failure rate right there — and it would save money by not paying the worst teachers.

Incidentally, I don’t know the numbers but I would bet that graduates of armed services high schools don’t have anything like a 25% failure rate, nor do they have anything like the national average dropout rate. Just guessing.

There is more on this in mail.


32 posted on 12/22/2010 6:09:16 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: struggle

Heh! Never took the ASVAB, but I know after a few quarters in engineering school the Navy NUPOC people were reasonably persistent. Considered it, but didn’t go that route.


33 posted on 12/22/2010 6:15:55 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj

Gatto’s a great thinker and writer — his idea of un-education (self-directed) rather than public schools is bold and with some merit, as is his loathing of the modern US public school system and “teaching” philosophies.

With regard to his miracle-making belief in learning phoentically is not well grounded. By not well grounded, I mean while it is true that phonetic learning to read is powerful, the lack of it is not what caused US schooling to falter, nor will the return to it rescue.

Chinese and Japanese have ideographic (non-phonetic) languages yet they also have great traditions of learning and literacy.

In Mexico they speak Spanish, which is a highly regularized phonetic language taught phonetically. Yet literacy rate is low.

Jews use Hebrew (a language that Gatto ignores), and have a great learning and literacy.

In that chapter 3 Gatto intuits, subconsciously, the reason for the failure of US Education in the Twentieth Century, in his comments on the strong characters in classic American novels being from broken families. What made that kind of character interesting to the great body of readers who came from non-broken families? The very difference from normality — that created an exotic interest. Gatto also overstates those three novels impact in their time. To the reader in those eras those books which would become known as classics were among, not above, many other works read in those eras.

There’s plenty of bad and mediocre writing in that highly literate era too. Would a elementary school reader of 1860 be able to plow through all the Harry Potter books? Yet in our time our kids did.

I also love Gatto’s veneration of the learning experience of a library.

Gatto seems to miss the absolute necessity of MORAL education in G0dly principles. We ain’t here due to the legacy of the classical era Greeks — we are here in a highly developed culture because of the inheritance of Hebrew, the language and the moral codes that come along with it.


34 posted on 12/22/2010 8:02:18 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard

Does Baladas or whatever answer?


35 posted on 12/22/2010 9:45:35 PM PST by Lumper20
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson; Baladas
The very nerve of these people. To think the military has the right to selectively discriminate against idiots! Idiots have rights too, y’know.

Both John Kerry and Stephen King commented that those who didn't study hard and do well in school would get "stuck in the Military."

Is there anything more pathetic as a delusional elitist?

36 posted on 12/22/2010 10:02:27 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: bvw
Thanks for your comments.

I'm not sure about your comment about phonetics. I think Gatto's problem is that it enables the education establishment to draw out the teaching of reading. It works for the teaching "profession" and it doesn't really matter what the effect is on the kids.


Jews use Hebrew (a language that Gatto ignores), and have a great learning and literacy.

Not sure what you mean by this. Are you referring to folks in Israel, or folks here? I'm one of those here. I've never really used Hebrew (and I'm exposed to it more than five hours a week) more than I've used Italian as an opera fan. What I know about Hebrew has next to nothing to do with my learning and literacy. The kids in Israel are a different story. Multiple visits there still have me wondering where they hide the dumb people. (You know, the ones at the checkout counters who have to write down 74 twice and do the addition to figure out how much the two 74 cent items together cost.) Hebrew seems pretty phonetic to me.

As for Harry Potter, I don't know what level these books are written to. If they are the same as the Hardy Boys I wouldn't be too impressed. I continue to be impressed by an incident that was related in a book by Edward Ayers (now President of the University of Richmond) where a Northern soldier wrote home to his family that he had been able to loot a complete set of the works of Milton. He probably would have been quickly bored by Harry Potter.

ML/NJ

37 posted on 12/23/2010 12:01:42 PM PST by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj
A sample of John Milton:
The Parliament of England, assisted by a great number of the people who appeared and stuck to them faithfullest in defence of religion and their civil liberties, judging kingship by long experience a government unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous, justly and magnanimously abolished it, turning regal bondage into a free commonwealth, to the admiration and terror of our emulous neighbours. They took themselves not bound by the light of nature or religion to any former covenant, from which the king himself, by many forfeitures of a latter date or discovery, and our longer consideration thereon, had more and more unbound us, both to himself and his posterity, as hath been ever the justice and the prudence of all wise nations, that have ejected tyranny.
Site 1:

Site 2:

A sample from JK Rowling:

Then, just when things were looking very serious for Frank, the report on the Riddles' bodies came back and changed everything.

The police had never read an odder report. A team of doctors had examined the bodies and had concluded that none of the Riddles had been poisoned, stabbed, shot, strangled, suffocated, or (as far as they could tell) harmed at all. In fact (the report continued, in a tone of unmistakable bewilderment), the Riddles all appeared to be in perfect health - apart from the fact that they were all dead. The doctors did note (as though determined to find something wrong with the bodies) that each of the Riddles had a look of terror upon his or her face - but as the frustrated police said, whoever heard of three people being frightened to death?

As there was no proof that the Riddles had been murdered at all, the police were forced to let Frank go. The Riddles were buried in the Little Hangleton churchyard, and their graves remained objects of curiosity for a while. To everyone's surprise, and amid a cloud of suspicion, Frank Bryce returned to his cottage on the grounds of the Riddle House.

Site 1:

Site 2:

Well, judging by the automated scorings you are right. Milton is HARD. But Rawlings comes out at almost college level. Not bad for a book read by fourth graders!

Site 1: http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/
Site 2: http://www.addedbytes.com/code/readability-score/

38 posted on 12/23/2010 1:08:15 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: bvw
I don't understand the scoring (grade level maybe, but that Ease thing with a negative number has me stumped), but maybe you could score a little bit of a Hardy Boys book too? The Potter stuff doesn't look that dense to me, and it is intended for children. I don't think Milton was aiming at children.

ML/NJ

39 posted on 12/23/2010 2:04:54 PM PST by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj
Gee, that's harder than it should have been. The Hardy Boys series started in 1927, and ran on through 2005. Wouldn't most of the books be long out of copyright?

This is an excerpt from the beggining chapter of the 28th book in the series "The Sign of the Crooked Arrow," in the 1949 original text. This excerpt required hand editing to put back capitalization and remove formatting marks and page headings. The source is http://www.scribd.com/doc/3727081/Dixon-Franklin-W-Hardy-Boys-028-The-Sign-of-the-Crooked-Arrow-rtf

Frank, the elder brother, fingered the wheel lightly. Joe sat beside him, his blond hair whipping in the breeze.

"What's all this business about somebody forgetting a car?" Joe asked.

"A man and his wife left it at Slow Mo's garage in Pleasantville two months ago and never called for it," Frank replied.

The boys' father, detective Fenton Hardy, had given Frank the details of the case and suggested that his sons follow it up. the garage proprietor had appealed to him to find the owner of the car.

"Why didn't Slow Mo contact the license bureau?" Joe put in.

"Dad asked him that. When Slow Mo went to look at the plates, they were gone!"

"Who took 'em off?"

"That's what we're to find out," Frank said. "it seems they were stolen."

"Sounds like a good case." Joe grinned. "One thing's sure: the car owner wouldn't take them."

"Strike one," Frank agreed. "It sounds as if Slow Mo might be in a jam."

Half an hour later Frank pulled up in front of a rickety building in the sleepy town of Pleasantville.

"That must be Slow Mo," Frank declared, as an elderly man in overalls shuffled toward them.

"Hello, boys," he said. "what can I do for you?" When he learned who they were, he asked in surprise, "Where's your pop?"

"He's busy on another case," Joe replied. "He sent us to help you."

The old man frowned. "I sure wanted your pop to figure this thing out. He's the best detective in this part of the country."

"You're right there," said Frank. "But I think we can make a start on solving the mystery. We often work with dad on cases."

Slow Mo, who had been dubbed Slow Motion in his youth, rubbed his whiskers with a grimy finger. he was a man of medium height, but he looked taller because of a thatch of bristling gray hair which stuck up on top of his head like a paint brush, "Well, I dunno," he said. "But come in my office and I'll tell you what happened, anyway."

On the basis of these three samples I have grown to like the SMOG index. The Wikipedia entry for it says it generates a grade level score that it is very accurate, and from my own experience and these samples, I'd say yes it is.

It makes Rawlings's Potter to be eighth-ninth grade level and The Hardy Boys to be fourth-fifth.

40 posted on 12/23/2010 2:44:12 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj
From the Site 1 scoring for above Hardy Boys excerpt:
41 posted on 12/23/2010 2:46:49 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj
And now for Melville's Moby Dick!

Are you ready? There's a surprise here! ...

Crossing this dusky entry, and on through yon low-arched way - cut through what in old times must have been a great central chimney with fire-places all round - you enter the public room. A still duskier place is this, with such low ponderous beams above, and such old wrinkled planks beneath, that you would almost fancy you trod some old craft's cockpits, especially of such a howling night, when this corner- anchored old ark rocked so furiously. On one side stood a long, low, shelf-like table covered with cracked glass cases, filled with dusty rarities gathered from this wide world's remotest nooks. Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den - the bar - a rude attempt at a Right Whale's head. Be that how it may, there stands the vast arched bone of the whale's jaw, so wide, a coach might almost drive beneath it. within are shabby shelves, ranged round with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by which name indeed they called him), bustles a little withered old man, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death.

Abominable are the tumblers into which he pours his poison. Though true cylinders without - within, the villainous green goggling glasses deceitfully tapered downwards to a cheating bottom. Parallel meridians rudely pecked into the glass, surround these footpads' goblets. Fill to this mark, and your charge is but a penny; to this a penny more; and so on to the full glass - the Cape Horn measure, which you may gulp down for a shilling.

Upon entering the place I found a number of young seamen gathered about a table, examining by a dim light divers specimens of skrimshander. I sought the landlord, and telling him I desired to be accommodated with a room, received for answer that his house was full - not a bed unoccupied. "But avast," he added, tapping his forehead, "you haint no objections to sharing a harpooneer's blanket, have ye? I s'pose you are goin' a whalin', so you'd better get used to that sort of thing."

What the surprise? That the typical Harry Potter novel is as difficult as Moby Dick! Here are the scores, Moby Dick vs Harry Potter, for the excerpts given.


42 posted on 12/23/2010 3:04:21 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: bvw
the typical Harry Potter novel is as difficult as Moby Dick!

When contradictions exist, examine your premises.

I couldn't read Moby Dick until I was past 35, and even then I needed to keep a dictionary close at hand.

Something is wrong with the methods you chose for scoring.

ML/NJ

43 posted on 12/23/2010 3:21:58 PM PST by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj
They are just automated scores based on simple measures of word length, number of syllables, sentence length.

The SMOG Index is as follows:

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is:

That you needed a dictionary for Moby Dick is understandable because of the archaic words used. Those words would have been familiar to the reader at the time of publication. Likewise a reader of the 1850's would need a dictionary to read Harry Potter, if magically a copy of one of those books could be sent back in time.
44 posted on 12/23/2010 3:57:13 PM PST by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson