DOES JOHNNY EVEN NEED TO READ?
Commenting on a recent study showing a disturbing drop in basic reading proficiency among college graduates, Assorted Stuff allows that schools may be partly to blame for failing to teach real-world literacy, but speculates that the larger culture may play a more decisive role:
Our society does very little to encourage adult literacy. Our leaders don’t read and are proud of it. The popular media glorifies people who spout unqualified opinion and denigrates anyone who’s actually done the work necessary to become an expert in a particular field.
We also make it possible, if not easy, to go through life without having to read anything longer than the crawl at the bottom of the “news” channel screen. We certainly don’t expect anyone to read about and understand the complex scientific and social problems we face.
Perhaps, in other words, schoolchildren shouldn’t be the only ones facing higher expectations these days.