The USA Today reported Tuesday that a recent Washington study found the majority of American college students approaching graduation were in effect illiterate.
More than 50 percent of pupils at four-year post-secondary institutions could not complete basic literacy tasks deemed “complex” by the study’s administers.
Among the survey tasks were rudimentary life skills such as comparing credit card offers with differing interest rates, summarizing survey results and understanding the arguments made in newspaper articles.
The lion’s share of the blame rests upon the shoulders of those who constructed the faltering system.
And various books like Alan M. Blankenstein’s “Failure is Not an Option: Six Principles That Guide Student Achievement in High Performing Schools” have been written to that end.
But at least a portion of the responsibility should lie with, gasp…American college students. Life is what you make it. The same can be said of an education. So while it’s deplorable that the public education system isn’t preparing youngsters to operate as adults, its just as despicable that America’s youth aren’t actively seeking avenues to educate themselves.
Until real education reform becomes a priority for legislators and college students stop hustling their way to diplomas by choosing easy majors, easier minors and professors who give the easiest assignments (see http://www.ratemyprofessors.com), we’ll continually be forced to face the hard reality of statistics which highlight our inadequacies.
Nick Birdsong for the editorial board.