Friday, December 16, 2005

The Dummmying Down of AmeriKKKa is Almost Complete

The Dummying Down of AmeriKKKa is Almost Complete

“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. The test also found steep declines in the English literacy of Hispanics in the United States, and significant increases among blacks and Asians. 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.” New York Times 12-16-05

An article in the New York Times dated December 16, 2005 caught my attention. The headline read Literacy Falls for Graduates From College, Testing Finds. The article stated The National Assessment of Adult Literacy given in 2003 by the US Department of Education revealed a decline in reading proficiency by Hispanics and an increase by Africans in AmeriKKKa and Asians. Later the article states, “ 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.” Keep in mind this is a test of college and university trained graduates. This means that after spending huge sums of money, going into debt that it will take years to climb out of, an increasing number of college graduates cannot demonstrate a high level of reading proficiency! These results raise cogent questions about the quality of both the US educational system and US collegiate education and the quality of students they are producing. In my view the elementary, secondary and post secondary educational systems in this country are failing and our people are being deliberately dummied down. The Times article offers a rationale for the alarming test results, “ Grover J. Whitehurst, director of an institute within the Department of Education that helped to oversee the test, said he believed that the literacy of college graduates had dropped because a rising number of young Americans in recent years had spent their free time watching television and surfing the Internet. ‘We're seeing substantial declines in reading for pleasure, and it's showing up in our literacy levels’ he said.”
Ironically my wife harangued me to attend our local PTA holiday meeting Tuesday evening. We do not have any children in the school system, our adopted son is 31 years old and on his own. We endorse the PTA’s efforts to support the school and their program. My wife, a former educator with over thirty years middle school teaching experience made an attractive display table with children’s books and arranged for a drawing. Each person that signed in received a number and the tickets were placed in a bag and drawn near the end of the program. The parent or child could go to the table and pick a book of their choice. When we got home after the meeting my wife asked me how I thought it went. I told her it appeared to me the PTA was not used to anything like what she did because during the meeting the agenda focused on rewarding children with pizza parties, having a basketball fund raiser, everything but supporting the reading initiative the PTA and school were sponsoring.
Reading is fundamental. Reading offers a vista to a whole universe of ideas, people places and events. If our college aged young people aren’t interested in reading, they can’t read proficiently or they get all their information and entertainment from the television, video games or iPod this nation is in deep doo doo. Perhaps the lack of reading proficiency of college graduates is a logical reason for the wholesale apathy of so many young people about world events. At a male mentoring program my fraternity sponsors, the young men who attended Wednesday night’s session knew very little about Stanley “Tookie” Williams and had a hard time articulating the pros and cons of capital punishment. These were high school students most were very bright and fairly articulate. Most shared they knew about Williams because they had seen the motion picture about him that starred Jamie Foxx or through recent news about his pending execution.
We need to promote increased reading in our community. If you are shopping for holiday gifts give books this year. If you are a parent, grandparent or mentor encourage your children to read. Read to them, get them hooked o books as well as all the gizmos and gadgets. There are books for every interest. Give them books on black people, there are countless biographies and autobiographies out there. In fact one of the brothers suggested our mentees read Reginald Lewis’ book Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun. To me these test results are alarming. It corroborates the results of several other tests in areas such as math and science that indicate AmeriKKKan education is failing. Our children are the ones suffering. This means, they will not be able to be productive in the global economy. We can easily solve this problem. We can encourage our young people to read at an early age, we can discuss the books they read with them. We can challenge them to think critically, ask questions, be inquisitive and become life long learners. The ruling elites need a dummied down comatose populous to blindly follow along ala Nazi Germany or what the fascist Neoconmen are attempting to do in AmeriKKKa. We can easily thwart them by reading more ourselves, thinking for ourselves and sharing ideas by writing and discussing the hot topics of the day. We can turn off the television, pick up a book and read, become a member of a library and take the kids with you and enjoy the world of books. In addition to the enjoyment you will discover in reading, you will become more intelligent, more well rounded and a more interesting person. And that’s a plus.

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