Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.


William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
 
Monday, December 26, 2005  
Literacy of College Graduates Is on Decline
Survey's Finding of a Drop in Reading Proficiency Is Inexplicable, Experts Say


By Lois Romano
Washington Post
December 25, 2005; A12

Blog editor's note: For those of us who believe that a modern citizenry can't hope to preserve the basis of its citizenship without being well informed, particularly on issues of war and peace, this study is hardly reassuring.

Literacy experts and educators say they are stunned by the results of a recent adult literacy assessment, which shows that the reading proficiency of college graduates has declined in the past decade, with no obvious explanation.

"It's appalling -- it's really astounding," said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and a librarian at California State University at Fresno. "Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder."

While more Americans are graduating from college, and more than ever are applying for admission, far fewer are leaving higher education with the skills needed to comprehend routine data, such as reading a table about the relationship between blood pressure and physical activity, according to the federal study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Experts could not definitively explain the drop.

"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."

To read the full text, see Washington Post

5:48 PM

 
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