Friday, December 16, 2005

Literacy falling

Further confirmation that there's a difference between a degree and an education:

The average American college graduate's literacy in English declined significantly over the past decade, according to results of a nationwide test released yesterday.

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy, given in 2003 by the Department of Education, is the nation's most important test of how well adult Americans can read. . . .

When the test was last administered, in 1992, 40 percent of the nation's college graduates scored at the proficient level, meaning that they were able to read lengthy, complex English texts and draw complicated inferences. But on the 2003 test, only 31 percent of the graduates demonstrated those high-level skills. There were 26.4 million college graduates.

The college graduates who in 2003 failed to demonstrate proficiency included 53 percent who scored at the intermediate level and 14 percent who scored at the basic level, meaning they could read and understand short, commonplace prose texts.

Three percent of college graduates who took the test in 2003, representing some 800,000 Americans, demonstrated "below basic" literacy, meaning that they could not perform more than the simplest skills, like locating easily identifiable information in short prose.
Link: "Literacy Falls for Graduates From College, Testing Finds" (from the New York Times)

comments: 2

Eustace Bright said...

Grad school is the new college.

A friend said to me, "People now think when they talk about grad school: 'oh man, you really have to study there.'"

Anonymous said...

Not long ago I learned that there are more students of English in China than native speakers of English in the whole world.

We're gonna be left in the dust, man.