Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3

    The Ami-rcn Trigidie: Cn you reed me?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Duchess-Yukine-Suoh, Jun 9, 2014.

    On average, only 42% of American fourth graders can read at a "proficient" or above level. 14 states have a lower percentage. 58% are at a "basic" or below level. 32% are "below average", the lowest possible level.

    25% of students will grow up to be "functionally illiterate". In short, not being able to read at even a basic level. That's right, one in every four American students will never read.Two thirds of these will end up in prison, 75% will end up in poverty.

    9 out of 10 functionally illiterate teenage girls are going to end up pregnant. One-fourth of them will have another child within two years.

    Illiteracy costs the healthcare system 800 million per year.

    Thoughts on improving one of the biggest issues in this country?
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I've always believed that education starts in the home. If you have parents to support and encourage you, you should have no problem reading at your grade level. Of course, there are always those who don't value education to begin with. I'm not sure what can be done for them.
     
    jazzabel and Duchess-Yukine-Suoh like this.
  3. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    This has become a multi-generational thing (no, I don't have research to back that up, just anecdotes). Some kids can't read because their parents can't, or won't, read. These parents may object to their children going to school; I don't really know why. Maybe it's because they're not comfortable with the kids learning things they themselves don't know.

    I did a couple of projects for a company whose president was functionally illiterate. He was a ninth-grade dropout who had gotten married and fathered two children by the time he was seventeen. Turns out he's a real go-getter, a fireball personality, and that allowed him to advance very quickly in his industry. Once he got into a position of authority, he hired people who could read and do arithmetic and so on. He was an interesting character, but I sure wouldn't want his life.
     
    jazzabel and Duchess-Yukine-Suoh like this.
  4. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,965
    Likes Received:
    5,488
    I'm sure it does, but there's also the question of who profits from lack of education and poverty. If we could wave a magic wand and make every single illiterate person well-educated in an instant for no cost at all, I suspect that there are a lot of interest groups that would be opposed to doing so. A well-educated, informed populace that is financially comfortable enough to have a voice in their employment, and to take an interest in something beyond getting the kids fed for one more day, is not necessarily seen as desirable by everyone. So I suspect that the big problem isn't necessarily achieving better education, but in overriding those who don't want to see it achieved.
     
    jazzabel, minstrel and 123456789 like this.
  5. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,337
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    And here I was beginning I think we disagreed on everything. Great post.
     
  6. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Can you cite the source for your statistics?

    As a substitute teacher, I see a lot of classrooms and a lot of kids, of all ages. I've never had a kid in any grade who, when we were taking turns reading aloud in class, was totally unable to get through the paragraph (well, barring the handful who are learning disabled, and it pisses me off when their aides won't let me give them some simple bit to read so they can get a sense of accomplishment out of it).

    What I am seeing is a manic emphasis on achievement in the standardized tests, and over the years, in my county at least, the score levels are going up. They pretty much have to, since No Child Left Behind ties teachers' jobs to their students' scores.

    I teach in some very disadvantaged areas (high percentage of families on welfare, etc.) and if you want to make the teachers fighting mad, suggest they're part of a grand conspiracy to keep the local population dumbed down.

    That said, children in these schools are definitely handicapped by home environments where learning is not particularly valued and achievement in sports garners way more accolades than success in academics.

    The alarming thing I'm seeing in the classroom is a narrowness of focus and a utilitarian mindset, largely driven by those bloody Federally-mandated state tests. I think back to my own childhood when on some random day after lunch the teacher would say, "Class, we're having a standardized test at 2:00 o'clock. Be sure to have two No. 2 pencils sharpened!" and I'd think, "Yippee! 2:00 o'clock is math time and I hate math! I get to take a standardized test!" And we'd take it and that was considered a valid assessment of our achievement to date and of the teacher's pedogogical skills.

    But in the schools where I sub, they're teaching the test, and teaching to the test, and teaching how to take the freaking test, practically every stinking day of the year! I think it's only the stolid native wit of school children ("If I put up with this the grownups will leave me alone") that keeps any of them from going stark raving crazy by March of each year.

    You see what's happening, don't you? The kid doesn't learn for fun, profit, expansion of the mind, benefit, advantage, or anything else; he learns so he can get through the damn tests. And has no qualms about promptly forgetting it all when he's done.

    And if it's not a beady-eyed focus on the state examinations, it's the omnipresent and everlasting "AR," or Accelerated Reading. The kids in grades 1 through 12 read books beyond the ones being studied in class, they take online tests on them, they accumulate points, they have to have a certain number of points to proceed to the next grade. Sounds good, right? Yeah, until you observe how the kids have learned to focus on their point tallies and not on the actual reading. As a sub I'll have some days when the absent teacher will tell me to direct the kids to do their AR and I'll see a kid not reading. "Hey, open your book," I'll say. And he or she will pipe up, "I can't, my AR book is at home." "Hey, go get another book. That shelf over there is full of them." "But they're not on my AR list. I won't get any points for them! Can I play on my iPhone instead?" ("No.") And heaven forbid you ask them to read in late May after they've got their points topped up. Hell, no, and hay-ull, no. Reading isn't fun for most of these kids, it's tedious, externally-imposed work.

    After 13 years of this you get a kid who drops anything to do with school as fast as he can when he's no longer required to do it. So it's entirely possible that a high percentage conveniently forget everything they've learned in a few years and end up as functionally illiterate adults. Why read when you can watch YouTube videos?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh and jazzabel like this.
  7. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page