Geeks With Blogs
Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

Lois Romano from the Washington Post wrote an article entitledCollege graduates' literacy on decline, study says”. What bothers me the most about this article is that the experts don't know why? Some claim its because this generation of students learned to read on a computer and watched too much TV.

More importantly is that the assessment of the reading test is not based on English literature but based more on reading labels.

For example: The test measures how well adults comprehend basic instructions and tasks through reading -- such as computing costs per ounce of food items, comparing viewpoints on two editorials and reading prescription labels. Of graduate students tested in 2003, 41 percent could be classified as ''proficient" in prose -- reading and understanding information in short texts -- down 10 percentage points since 1992. Of college graduates, 31 percent were classified as proficient -- compared with 40 percent in 1992.

So how does one prepare for such a test? Can't memorize the information on the test! Is the test relevant? Should anyone care? Are computers the cause? Maybe TV?

Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 3:12 PM | Back to top

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