Friday, June 11

dumbing down

A quick look at this recently released NYT poll says something I've never heard mentioned - 80% of undecided voters lack a college degree [follow this link, then look on right hand side for Multimedia: Graphic: The Undecided for the Javascript popup of the poll.]

This is America, not Europe. It's not as if there are any intellectual hurdles to get into a community college in America. Yet 4 out of 5 voters being targeted this coming season will have a HS diploma, tops. Keep that in mind if you hear any complaining about the "level of political discourse" on TV.

. . .

as a disturbing sidenote, a recent study finds that even High School Senior Exams are too basic.

"In math, the skills tested on high school exit exams in the United States are taught in middle school in many other countries." Lisa Graham Keegan, the former commissioner of education in Arizona, said she had begun looking into high school graduation exams, but on the first administration of a test found that 84 percent of the students had failed.

So let's get this straight - in these Arizona high schools, 84% could graduate without being able to pass middle-school math? Thank goodness that Bob Schaeffer, at something called "the National Center for Fair and Open Testing," concludes that there's nothing to worry about. (Ostensibly those kids are all cut out for being line-cooks and gas station attendants anyway... but even then, don't you need SOME middle school math?)