Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Middling to Mediocre

Up at NRO's higher ed blog this morning, more unfortunately unsurprising news regarding just how little we learn (entire post below):

"On the heels of the ISI report, which examined civic and historical knowledge, comes a report on skill levels of high school, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges by the Conference Board. The survey asked emplyers about the skills and knowledges important in the coming economy, then asked them how there recent applicants hires measured up. Here are a few results just in areas of reading and writing:

  • Only 3.4 percent of respondents rated high school graduates "Excellent" in reading comprehension. 38.4 percent rated them as "Deficient."
  • Only 4.2 percent rated two-year college graduates as reaching "Excellent" in reading, while 25.9 percent gave four-year college graduates "Excellent."
  • For two-year college grads, 12.8 percent gave them "Deficient" in reading, while 5.1 percent judged four-year college grads deficient.
  • A mere 0.8 percent of respondents gave high school grads "Excellent" in writing, while a whopping 72 percent rated them "Deficient."
  • For two-year college grads, 46.4 percent gave them "Deficient" in writing, while 26.2 percent of respondents gave four-year college grads "Deficient."

[But I'll bet you a sundae many of the students feel really good! -ed.]

The study also tabulated areas of "Humanities/Arts," foreign languages, science, and government/economics."

Oh dear. I'll try to read the report later, but that doesn't make it look terribly promising. I'll readily admit that I have a long way to go before I'd consider myself well-educated* according to any standard, and that after four years of college, two years of law school, and one-plus year of grad school my writing ability is but a shadow of its former self,** but still....!

* I absolutely stand by that.

** People persist in assuming I must be a good writer. I'd like to believe it, but sitting down to try to write anything coherent these days (say, for my grant writing class) forces me to question that assumption. I would like to lay the blame on the difficulty of trying clearly to express complex subject matter, but I think it falls much more heavily on Yours Truly.

1 comment:

The Tiger said...

It's all relative, Stephcot. It's all relative.