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Basic literacy skills and college kids...sad.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Literacy study

Quite an interesting study.
One has to wonder how kids who lack these basic skills are even being admitted to college in the first place. It almost seems like colleges will take anyone who can pay (or take out loans to do so).
I feel like my college degree has been devalued a bit.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe'n'MissKitty
Literacy study

Quite an interesting study.
One has to wonder how kids who lack these basic skills are even being admitted to college in the first place. It almost seems like colleges will take anyone who can pay (or take out loans to do so).
I feel like my college degree has been devalued a bit.
This a huge HUGE HUGE problem where I got to school...and DePaul isn't some little University of South Nowhere. We;re supposedly a fairly well-known, large and well-thought-of institution.

And yet, on my first day of Freshman English, we spent the entire hour going over how to write a sentence. As in, it has to contain a subject, verb, etc. Sad, huh?

Also, since I put off Freshman math to this year and I'm taking it now...we just learned percents. Now, I don't want to tto my own horn, but I came out of a pretty strenuous gifted program in a very good college prep school. But I KNOW we learned percents and rates in 4th grade (normal-college track learned it in 5th grade). It's just a waste of my time and money to have to deal with people who have no business being in college in the first place.

I'm glad I'm a music student at our conservatory. Conservatories have no issues with being choosy and pretentious in the worst way...which ends up working to my benefit. I have expectations to live up to.
post #3 of 19
American education has been "dumbed down". That is, instead of expecting our students to rise to a level of excellence, as we did in the past, the standards have been lowered so that feelings don't get hurt. The result? The US is embarrassingly lagging industrialized nations in education of its students. We used to be first, second etc, now we are 25th. This country is going to reap what it has sown in the next few decades with this "political correctness" nonsense, and it isn't going to be pretty.
post #4 of 19
It doesn't surprise me at all. My step-nephew failed the 8th Grade. Twice. What was the school going to do about it? Get him a tutor or help him in some way? Test him for learning disabilities that may not have been noticed before? Nope. He was going on to 9th Grade because they couldn't keep him there for 3 years. They didn't want him to fall behind his peers too much and damage his self-esteem. Seriously. My sister is now home-schooling him because the other option of zero accountability and even less learning was not acceptable. She has found that he needs to have concepts explained in a couple different ways, but once he "gets it" he's really got a good understanding of it. The problem was that the school didn't care if he ever "got it" and they were willing to pass him up the line.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
They didn't want him to fall behind his peers too much and damage his self-esteem.
As if being unable to understand and do the work he's assigned isn't damaging enough. Honestly. Thank goodness he has a mother who cares enough about him to give him the education he needs!

I teach college students, in a lab only, but I make sure they know that I'll spend all the time and effort it takes for them to understand what they need to know! None of this dumb it down to make them feel good from me...I'd rather they work hard, figure it out, and then feel good about it, even if it takes hours!
post #6 of 19
I've heard that the U.S. Army operates the largest remedial reading school in the nation. I just can't understand how kids can graduate from high school and not know how to read and write. I wouldn't have gotten thru Junior High school, much less high school, if I couldn't read any better than that.
Have you browsed any youth-oriented messege boards lately? Some of those kids' posts are almost unintellegable, for lack of spelling and grammar skills. At first I thought it was just a fad to spell wierd, but I'm beginning to think they just don't know better.
post #7 of 19
This doesn't surprise me at all, either. I nearly had a fit when I heard that they were going to include essays as part of the SAT. I was even more angry when I was doing a search for college essays and saw people writing about who knows what--that wasn't even remotely related to the topic they were supposed to be writing about...and these people managed to get into schools like Harvard and Yale!

At one school I used to teach at, I got in trouble because I used to correct the children's mistakes and I wouldn't praise them enough for trying! I'm sorry, but I feel I am doing a child a serious injustice if I praise him for his mistakes. In the end, you get a kid who can't read, write or figure out basic math problems, but gosh-darn it they feel good about themselves!
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyas_mom
In the end, you get a kid who can't read, write or figure out basic math problems, but gosh-darn it they feel good about themselves!
Which just goes to feed the growing attitude of "entitlement" in today's society -- don't ya think?
post #9 of 19
A good friend of mine graduated last year. i dont know how he did it. He reads very poorly. I feel really bad for him, he hasnt been tested for learning disabilities and no one has really worked with him to help him read better. No he is going into college with a poor foundation. How is he supposed to be successful?
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
Which just goes to feed the growing attitude of "entitlement" in today's society -- don't ya think?
I totally agree. We're raising a whole generation who thinks they're entitled to a college education, good jobs, happy marriages, big cars, and large houses just because they're alive! They are privileges, not rights, but look at TV shows like that one on MTV about sweet 16 parties. Those kids think they are owed the niceties of life. Why work hard at all if society is going to make sure you get the good stuff with or without the work?
post #11 of 19
I happened to glance at some business magazine this morning while shopping. It mentioned that when young adults didn't get their "expected" raise or promotion, mommy and daddy made calls to the HR depts demanding that their little darlings get this irregardless if they earned it or not!!! I said to myself you have got to be kidding. I wish I remembered the magazine!!
I remember several of my now ex co-workers are agonizing on how they are going to afford college for their kids. Excuse me!!! Its called getting a job and loans and not living a high life in college. Granted I was in college in the late 70's but I worked all summer and saved basically everything I made. I didn't have a checking acct-what money??? Once in a while mom and dad sent me $5 or $10 for "spending money". I survived okay.
post #12 of 19
So many of my undergrad students are more interested in their jobs at McDonalds or waiting tables than in showing up for class or studying. They think these jobs are more important than their classes and their learning and then get upset when they don't pass their classes. When I talk to them about setting priorities (what's mre important, McDonald's or their career?) they say they HAVE to work to get by. But when I ask them what they spend their money on they don't say tuition or housing (mom and dad are paying for those) they say that they HAVE to have their fancy cell phnes, expensive cars, and name brand clothing. So...phones, cars, and clothes are mor important than learning what they need to know for their future!
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress
I totally agree. We're raising a whole generation who thinks they're entitled to a college education, good jobs, happy marriages, big cars, and large houses just because they're alive! They are privileges, not rights, but look at TV shows like that one on MTV about sweet 16 parties. Those kids think they are owed the niceties of life. Why work hard at all if society is going to make sure you get the good stuff with or without the work?
Can I get an Amen on this? lol

Also ... I don't have a college degree, but I read. Constantly. And in the past ten or twelve years, I have noticed mistakes -- not just typos but serious grammatical errors -- in more and more of the books I read. This NEVER used to happen. People are not being educated beyond their ignorance -- not even people who enter a profession dealing with the written word. More's the pity.
post #14 of 19
My boss' 'real' job is a graduate studies university professor, he mentioned today that one of his students came to see him in office hours. The student has missed 5 classes due to 'being stressed and working' and he thought that he wanted to discuss her studies. Nope, he wanted a passport form signed because he 'needs a break from studying so hard' and is going to the Dominican for 2-3 weeks to relax. This student has only been in his class since September and you need to know the person for 2 years to sign the passport form. When he mentioned this, the reply was 'oh but you can say you knew me longer - its not like they check' a shrug of the shoulders and a major attitude because he told him that he would be better of coming to classes and taking a break at march break like everyone else. BUT March break is expensive!!

One of our interns asked for 2 weeks off to go to France and Italy, this is a 10 month PAID internship where they get a month in holidays and a all expenses trip to England and 2 US/Canadian cities of their choice for a total of a month in trips. But she has a friend who is travelling and she needs company on this trip!
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vibiana
Can I get an Amen on this? lol

Also ... I don't have a college degree, but I read. Constantly. And in the past ten or twelve years, I have noticed mistakes -- not just typos but serious grammatical errors -- in more and more of the books I read. This NEVER used to happen. People are not being educated beyond their ignorance -- not even people who enter a profession dealing with the written word. More's the pity.
I havent finished my degree I laugh and say I am on the 40 year plan...I have mild dyslexia and I have found errors in books and evan the local paper ... Personally I would be embrassed to have someone with a disability find errors but that is me...
post #16 of 19
First of all, people graduating from high school should be competent in those skills described in the article. These skills are necessary to survive in our society. Too many people are have problems with their credit cards because of not understanding the true cost of credit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
I happened to glance at some business magazine this morning while shopping. It mentioned that when young adults didn't get their "expected" raise or promotion, mommy and daddy made calls to the HR depts demanding that their little darlings get this irregardless if they earned it or not!!! I said to myself you have got to be kidding. I wish I remembered the magazine!!
I wondered what would happen with kids whose parents were so quick to call the school when the kids failed to do the work. Now I know.

What really disgusts me are the riots that have occurred on the college campuses here because the police decided to break up large and noisy parties. They have no appreciation for their parents paying for a college education. They would behave better if they had more of a personal investment in attending college.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
The total lack of English skills astonishes me.
I see doctors' notes every day. These are MDs. Educated folks. DOCTORS. People who cure our illnesses and cut on our bodies!
The foreign doctors nearly always have better written English than the Americans.
Blows my mind.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I havent finished my degree I laugh and say I am on the 40 year plan...I have mild dyslexia and I have found errors in books and evan the local paper ... Personally I would be embrassed to have someone with a disability find errors but that is me...
LOL...I say the same thing about some books I've read on AD/HD. Maybe it's on purpose...something like "If you think this book was well edited, your meds obviously aren't working".
post #19 of 19
I can't believe some colleges are teaching such basic things in their regular classes. When I went to college, it was a community college, and I took a remedial math class in the basics, but it was by no means a credited or required course. Math was always a challenge. I had a tutor over the summer once, stayed after school often, etc. but even with that I had a difficult time. I knew kids in HS that purposely took easy English and Math classes out of pure laziness! I took the regular college prep stuff. I've tested kids coming out of high school, with some sort of disability that was not nearly severe enough for them to be taken out of main stream classes, and they can't divide...even with a calculator. How they graduated, I do not know. I never noticed that when I was in HS.

And now I may have gone to a community college, but that by no means made me think college would be easy. I studied hard and took it seriously. I worked and paid bills. I spent a lot of extra time at that college, not because it was hard, but because I was going to get everything out of it I could. I have a good friend I totally applaud for doing the same. She works to pay her bills and studies like a mad woman. Her parents occasionally reward her for doing all that by giving her some money to go out. But her education is her focus. If she doesn't understand, she'll get a tutor. She'll sit there and knock you out of boredom and back again explaining physics and bio-chemistry and what not to you. She struggled through math in HS like I did. I guess it's just a refreshing reminder to me that not all kids come out of HS with such low levels, or allow themselves to wallow in themselves.

Oh and the lack of proofreading skills in publications gets me too. I recently saw an advertisement for a company that provides similar services to mine...it had at least 3 major errors...and it wasn't a very long ad!
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