College campuses are not an untapped resource of educated
The people entering college are not educated and they are not
being educated. According to a report on National Public Radio in
April, although more students are taking advanced placement classes
in high school, there is an increase in the number of students with
poor reading and writing skills. Data available on the Education
Vital Signs Web site (www.asbj.com/evs) shows that a decade of
increasing high school GPAs is correlated with a decrease in
reading ability. To put it quite simply, many of the students
entering college do not belong in college.
But to make it worse, our colleges continue the trend.
Personally, I have taught students with A and B averages who are
barely able to read and write.
How is it that students can attend college for years without
being confronted with their illiteracy? What are educators up to
when they pass students who are incapable of expressing even a
glimmer of understanding? Why don’t parents notice that their kids
can’t watch a subtitled movie because they have to sound out the
Maybe the answer I am looking for is that we are a delusional
society. We like to believe that we are an educated people capable
of choosing our own leaders. The facts tell otherwise. Most people
are barely capable of reading an article on politics, let alone
making judgments based on information they can hardly digest.
A few quick suggestions: Don’t vote unless you are actually
informed enough to know what it is you are doing (and you probably
are not). Ask a few of your friends about the details of the
policies of the presidential candidates; you will find complete
ignorance. (I actually played the question game with some people
working for the Democratic National Convention this past May. They
knew almost nothing about the policies or the history of their own
party. Not to pick on Democrats. Greens, Republicans, Independents:
They are all pretty stupid when you get to know them.) Let’s stop
fooling ourselves into believing that we are capable of making
important decisions. Instead, let’s look at the facts.
Master’s creative writing student