February 11, 2006


I don't have a college degree--they didn't offer any courses called Drag 101. But I half-heartedly attended UTC and GSU as an undecided major (ie alcoholic) for a couple of years. But my dad's a history professor, and I often heard him rail against changing attitudes towards a college education, which used to mean being exposed to different disciplines like languages and philosophy, even if those subjects weren't directly related to your major, resulting in a broader-thinking graduate. Nowadays, my dad griped, students despise the languages and philosophy and usually go straight for a business degree. No enlightenment necessary, learn only what you need to make money. I guess that excludes reading now. And if they dumb us down enough, we won't question their propaganda. The dumbing down starts in grade school, but it's still shocking to read that it's so effective that one can obtain a college degree without being able to fully comprehend what they've read.

by Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld

February 4, 2006

Stunned, shocked and appalled are American educators as they study the recent report from the National Center of Education Statistics, which reveals that only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. "It's really astounding," said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association. "That's not saying much for the remainder," he added, meaning that 69 percent of our college graduates cannot read at or above a "proficient" level.

Absolutely appalled by the results of the survey was Mark S. Schneider, commissioner of education statistics, who remarked, "The declining impact of education on our adult population was the biggest surprise for us, and we just don't have a good explanation. What's disturbing is that the assessment is not designed to test your understanding of Proust, but to test your ability to read labels."