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

Skip to comments.

Most US students not literate enough for complex tasks
Daily Times ^ | 1/21/06 | AP

Posted on 01/21/2006 10:26:44 AM PST by voletti

WASHINGTON: More than half of students at four-year colleges in the United States - and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers, a study found. The literacy study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the first to target the skills of graduating students, finds that students fail to lock in key skills - no matter their field of study. The results cut across three types of literacy: analyzing news stories and other prose, understanding documents and having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips. Without “proficient” skills, or those needed to perform more complex tasks, students fall behind. They cannot interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school. “It is kind of disturbing that a lot of folks are graduating with a degree and they’re not going to be able to do those things,” said Stephane Baldi, the study’s director at the American Institutes for Research, a behavioral and social science research organization. Most students at community colleges and four-year schools showed intermediate skills. That means they can do moderately challenging tasks, such as identifying a location on a map. There was brighter news. Overall, the average literacy of college students is significantly higher than that of adults across the nation. Study leaders said that was encouraging but not surprising, given that the spectrum of adults includes those with much less education.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailytimes.com.pk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chinesestudents; educatedfools; generationy; highereducation; india; literacy
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-113 next last
and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers, a study found.

AP exagerrating for efect as usual? Why not take the logical next step and lay blame where it is due, namely the lib-dominated school system?

1 posted on 01/21/2006 10:26:46 AM PST by voletti
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: voletti

That's why there are liberals in the world. Reason and logic are not taught anymore.


2 posted on 01/21/2006 10:29:13 AM PST by pissant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti
Once again.............

A college diploma is not a certificate of higher intellegence. It is only proof of further education.
3 posted on 01/21/2006 10:30:55 AM PST by baystaterebel (http://omphalosgazer.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti

It becomes clear why the members of the media are less able to evaluate issues and what to print.


4 posted on 01/21/2006 10:31:14 AM PST by DoughtyOne (01/11/06: Ted Kennedy becomes the designated driver and moral spokesperson for the Democrat party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti
and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers

Which is why one of the first things every college freshman sees when arriving on campus is a credit card company's pitchman.

5 posted on 01/21/2006 10:31:23 AM PST by thoughtomator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: baystaterebel

It's only proof of the equivalent of a 6th grade education from 1950.


6 posted on 01/21/2006 10:31:52 AM PST by thoughtomator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: voletti
From my own observations I concur. I think a college degree today is indicative of less acquisition of knowledge than a high school diploma 20 years ago.

Yes, we MUST blame it on the government schools which have allowed this decline.

7 posted on 01/21/2006 10:32:30 AM PST by Knute (W- Yep, He's STILL the President!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti

i kant uderstood a word off these article


8 posted on 01/21/2006 10:32:53 AM PST by Wheee The People
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti
Most US students not literate enough for complex tasks

They got that right.

I'm a professional writer and as the years go by more and more people think I'm some kind of genius for being able to put words to paper, that evoke feelings and emotions or biting satire that makes people think. I suspect that in my parents' generation I would have been just an average writer.

Dumber and dumber...I fear for our nation's future.

9 posted on 01/21/2006 10:34:03 AM PST by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti
More than half of students at four-year colleges in the United States - and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks

Not to worry, they can always get a job as a "journalist" with the Associated Press.

10 posted on 01/21/2006 10:34:25 AM PST by holymoly ("A lot" is TWO words.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

And to think, all of those foreign students are wasting their money coming to the U.S. to get their degrees.


11 posted on 01/21/2006 10:35:10 AM PST by durasell (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: voletti

This...like...article is like...umm, like...aahsumlee over-exaggerating, mannn!


12 posted on 01/21/2006 10:35:29 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: durasell

I would be willing to wager well that the number of foreign students coming here to study the kinds of things that US students prefer - political science, history, social "sciences", and all those other fields where there is no way to quantify how much someone has learned is quite small.

Foreign students come to study engineering, mathematics, hard sciences, medicine - the few exceptions to the higher-education scam.

I can't tell you how many people I know who have completely useless Political Science degrees.


13 posted on 01/21/2006 10:38:40 AM PST by thoughtomator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

Of course you're right. But college is like anything else, you pays your money and your chance.

College isn't a vocational school. They don't exist to insure employment. On the other hand, a college education is now the minimum for any kind of white collar, inside sitting down job.


14 posted on 01/21/2006 10:43:28 AM PST by durasell (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: voletti

OK Pakistan. Keep telling yourselves that the US is a bunch of morons.
But at least US students can CHOOSE to seek higer education in much higher per capita numbers. While college-aged Pakistanis are illiterate due to social-class discrimination and gender discrimination.


15 posted on 01/21/2006 10:44:14 AM PST by Ludicrous (I support a woman's right to choose an effective contraception method)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

Poli Sci, Sociology, Womyn's Studies,African-American Studies etc etc etc. Useless fields of study in my opinion.....


16 posted on 01/21/2006 10:45:23 AM PST by Rummyfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Ludicrous

I think this is an AP article, not Pakistan's.


17 posted on 01/21/2006 10:45:56 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Rummyfan

Poli Sci, Sociology, Womyn's Studies,African-American Studies etc etc etc. Useless fields of study in my opinion.....



For people who want to learn about those things, they're of value. Unfortunately, they are of little value in the workplace.


18 posted on 01/21/2006 10:46:51 AM PST by durasell (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: CarrotAndStick

It's on a Pakistani newspaper site.


19 posted on 01/21/2006 10:47:04 AM PST by Ludicrous (I support a woman's right to choose an effective contraception method)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator
“Concerning the advancement of learning, I do subscribe to the opinion… that, for grammar schools, there are already too many… the great number of schools which are in your Highness’s realm doth cause a want, and likewise an overthrow [surfeit] – both of them inconvenient and one of them dangerous; for by means thereof they find want in the country and towns, both of servants for husbandry and of apprentices for trade; and on the other side there being more Scholars bred than the State can prefer and employ… it must needs fall out that many persons will be bred unfit for other vocations and unprofitable for that in which they were bred up, which will fill the realm full of indigent, idle and wanton people…”
Francis Bacon, 1611
I'd say he had a point, especially about educating the ineducable.
20 posted on 01/21/2006 10:47:47 AM PST by GSlob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: pissant

That's why there are liberals in the world. Reason and logic are not taught anymore.
-----
And it is the perfect platform for breeding more liberals -- which is why the libs hold on so tight to the unions and the flunkies that are the teachers and lock-step members.

Make me want to vomit when I think about it.


21 posted on 01/21/2006 10:47:51 AM PST by EagleUSA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: pissant
Math is not taught any more either. Have you ever been at a checkout counter and watch while a young adult tries to give change for 79¢ item paid for with a dollar bill. Some of them can't even read what the computer tells them to do.

A Special Ed teacher that I know tried to get her school district to develop a real-life experience courses for some of her students who were really low functioning. Instead of teaching them algebra, she wanted to teach them how to make change after purchases, balance a checkbook, etc. She was laughed out of the conference room by the silly liberals she worked with. Sad.

22 posted on 01/21/2006 10:48:46 AM PST by asp1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ludicrous

So what? It may be on a dozen other newspaper too. In a dozen other countries.

But you're right in the aspect that the Pakistani (and other foreign newspapers) are publishing this as a way of "down-grading" the US.


23 posted on 01/21/2006 10:51:19 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ludicrous

newspaper = newspaper sites


24 posted on 01/21/2006 10:53:09 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: voletti
and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers, a study found.

AP exagerrating for efect as usual? Why not take the logical next step and lay blame where it is due, namely the lib-dominated school system?

Genrally I relish reports of bloated NEA damage.

However, people DO pass the LSAT and go on to Law School to make certain that credit card offers, software agreements and the like are as unreadable and patience-tiring as possible. Such was a bad example, Herewith the afroesaidmentioned notwithstanding, excepting the Party of the Second Part, Hereinafter called...&etc.

25 posted on 01/21/2006 11:02:00 AM PST by Gorzaloon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: durasell

I would wager that two years of apprenticeship - actually doing something - would go farther in the marketplace than these specious four-year degrees (excepting of course hard sciences, math, engineering).

Even worse, many people go for Masters and Ph.Ds and end up in their mid-30s never having held a job in their lives, and finding that there are so many others just like them that the competition for the few jobs for which they may be qualified is among the most intense in the market. These people are essentially unemployable, unfit for even menial labor because they have never developed the most basic of work ethics.

One of the saddest people I know is a 36-year-old Art History Ph.D. candidate. She has no future whatsoever other than sucking the teat of her daddy's fortune until she is old and grey - not even marriageable since no man would want to acquire a wife who has done nothing substantial for anyone else in her entire life and is nearing the end of her childbearing years anyway.


26 posted on 01/21/2006 11:06:08 AM PST by thoughtomator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: voletti
Why not take the logical next step and lay blame where it is due, namely the lib-dominated school system?

There are two places to place blame:

The NEA for protecting poor performers...

and the majority of parents of public schools who expect the school to do everything related to their child's education...

And people wonder why my kids are in Catholic school...

27 posted on 01/21/2006 11:06:11 AM PST by AlaninSA (It's one nation under God -- brought to you by the Knights of Columbus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: asp1

The first step to restoring math literacy is ending tax withholding! Governments (fed, state, local) will have to teach math properly to secure their revenues.


28 posted on 01/21/2006 11:08:37 AM PST by thoughtomator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: voletti
Most students at community colleges and four-year schools showed intermediate skills. That means they can do moderately challenging tasks, such as identifying a location on a map.

You sure don't get much to show today for a $200,000 college education.

29 posted on 01/21/2006 11:09:02 AM PST by 6SJ7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

The whole apprenticeship thing is extremely dicey. Pick the wrong field and you're screwed for life. Tool and die work, for instance, is dead in this country. Though a guy I used to know did something similar for diamonds/gems and went from minimum wage to six figures in a couple of years.

Interesting about your friend the art history student. I happen to know a couple who are doing pretty well in museums and galleries and auction hourses. Combine art history with an MBA and you have a killer resume. Could it be that she's not all that motivated?


30 posted on 01/21/2006 11:10:46 AM PST by durasell (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: durasell

Apprenticeship is no more dicey than a college degree, and requires less of a time investment. Pick the wrong college degree and you are just as screwed as if you apprentice to a dead craft. You can always re-apprentice in a new field, that's essentially how people change careers already, take a position at the bottom of the new field and work their way up. The difference with apprenticeship is that even if the trade dies the work skills, ethics, and experience remain. Contrast this to a poorly-chosen degree which cannot be usefully applied to anything else.

The thing about the museum field is that there is an extremely limited number of jobs for a large number of people who want them. They're great once you're in - but if you can't get in, there is no alternative. Even when you are in you have basically no leverage as an employee, whereas with another skill you could credibly have the option of leaving one employer for another.

On my Art History friend... yes a lack of motivation is definitely evident - and this eternal-education path that is available is a prime enabler for this behavior. In the commercial world that sort of behavior would be corrected quite quickly!


31 posted on 01/21/2006 11:18:29 AM PST by thoughtomator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: 6SJ7
I went to a local community college to take a course or two. What struck me the most was the fact that there were so many remedial courses offered. Our kids graduate from High School and then need classes to bring them up to speed for freshman college courses. There is something really wrong with our public schools.
32 posted on 01/21/2006 11:20:10 AM PST by asp1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

That would "teach 'em." :O)


33 posted on 01/21/2006 11:21:09 AM PST by asp1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: holymoly
Not to worry, they can always get a job as a "journalist" with the Associated Press.

Not long ago, I read a news article in which a paragraph ended with, "...or whatever."

I'd like to say it was some leftwing rag like the NY Slimes, but it wasn't. It was in the Wall Street Journal. This is why I maintain that "journalism" is not the name of a profession or even an occupation, but simply an activity-- an activity, apparently, which requires no particular training or skill.

34 posted on 01/21/2006 11:24:12 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

Related only vaguely to this thread, they have a relatively new program at the Guggenheim where an art doctoral students conduct free tours as part of their apprenticeship. I love that. These are really bright kids who have real enthusiasm for art.

Anyway, I'm of the mind that someone with motivation can make any degree work in the marketplace. The problem is, 99.999% of the kids are not motivated. They got into those programs because they were "easy" and now just want some job where they can show up at 9 and leave at 5.




35 posted on 01/21/2006 11:24:40 AM PST by durasell (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Rummyfan
Poli Sci, Sociology, Womyn's Studies,African-American Studies etc etc etc. Useless fields of study in my opinion.....

I agree. I told my kids that if they wanted their parents to pay for them to earn a college degree; the minimum requirements were for them to take Economincs, Accounting, Finance and Marketing courses. After that, the could persue underwater basket weaving.

36 posted on 01/21/2006 11:26:56 AM PST by Cobra64
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

p.s. When I say motivated, I mean highly motivated. I have something wrong with my hearing that has plagued me for years. Whenever somebody says, "Family is the most important thing," what I hear is, "I like to sit at home and watch TV."

I'd never hire somebody with those those priorities.


37 posted on 01/21/2006 11:32:29 AM PST by durasell (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: voletti

INteresting.

Liberals tell us that colleges are hot beds of liberalism because they are better educated.

However, it now appears that college grads don't possess critical listening or reading skills.

That is probably why they are liberals, not education but lack of education.


38 posted on 01/21/2006 11:51:04 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti

INteresting.

Liberals tell us that colleges are hot beds of liberalism because they are better educated.

However, it now appears that college grads don't possess critical listening or reading skills.

That is probably why they are liberals, not education but lack of education.


39 posted on 01/21/2006 11:51:06 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ElkGroveDan
...I fear for our nation's future.

The future is here. Biting satire? Nowadays anyone who can write a coherent paragraph is a genius. My mother was an average writer in her day, graduating from college in the sixties. By today's standards she can walk on water.

40 posted on 01/21/2006 11:53:07 AM PST by Innisfree
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: baystaterebel
Most US students not literate enough for complex tasks

Well, thank God their precious self esteem is still intact.

41 posted on 01/21/2006 12:11:25 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Puppage

Me: "32oz diet soda please" HS Senior clerk: "umm...Is that small, medium or large?" Me: "Well, I don't know. Is your 32oz soda the medium one or the large one?" HS Senior Clerk: "uhhhhhhhhhhh.... HS Senior Manager: "Here, I'll hold them up for you" Me: "Um...Nevermind"


42 posted on 01/21/2006 12:41:36 PM PST by overkill_007_2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: All
If anyone cares to play, I have a quiz for you all based upon my friends, all roughly between 35-40 years old:

Question one: Who is considered the "smartest" of the group?

1) University of Florida grad, Business Admin
2) Rutgers College grad, History
3)William Paterson grad, Communications
4) William Paterson 3 years (business), no degree


Question #2: Of the four above, which one makes the most money, and which one makes the least money?


Thanks for playing! Answers will be sent to you via freepmail.
43 posted on 01/21/2006 12:43:16 PM PST by motzman (God helps those who help themselves - B. Franklin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: baystaterebel
"A college diploma is not a certificate of higher intellegence. It is only proof of further education."

"If you want a degree, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library." --- Paul H. Gettles

44 posted on 01/21/2006 12:44:02 PM PST by Mad Dawgg ("`Eddies,' said Ford, `in the space-time continuum.' `Ah,' nodded Arthur, `is he? Is he?'")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

That is a valid point about the elderly getting graduate degrees. Even the younger ones, say a mid-twenties with a fresh MS in biology, who has not been working all along, may indeed get a job with the state but will never actually contribute anything except to his own retirement package.


45 posted on 01/21/2006 12:50:08 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: asp1
Our kids graduate from High School and then need classes to bring them up to speed for freshman college courses.

Interesting to contrast public schools now with public schools of the early 20'th century. I remember reading the book 'Truman' by David McCullough. Truman completed High School and could both read and write ancient Greek.

46 posted on 01/21/2006 12:53:21 PM PST by 6SJ7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: motzman

1) 4

2) 4 > 2 > 3 > 1


47 posted on 01/21/2006 12:56:11 PM PST by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: voletti
More than half of students at four-year colleges in the United States - and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers...

If understanding credit card offers is considered a complex task, then we're in real trouble.

48 posted on 01/21/2006 12:58:33 PM PST by mtg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: voletti

What's to understand about credit card offers? Get one card, pay it off monthly and throw the rest in the trash.


49 posted on 01/21/2006 1:06:38 PM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ElkGroveDan
I'm a professional writer ...

My MS Word grammar checker says that I should change "effect" to "affect" in the following sentence: "The car's brakes had no effect whatsoever." Which is correct? Effect? Or affect?

50 posted on 01/21/2006 1:18:56 PM PST by JoeGar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-113 next last

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