Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Students lack real-life skills.

Did anyone see this article?

Here's a summary of the findings:

"[The students surveyed] cannot interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school."

Here's the bottom line:

"Do they do well enough for a highly educated population? For a knowledge-based economy? The answer is no," said Joni Finney, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, an independent and nonpartisan group.

I understand that Ms. Finney had to issue a statement, and wasn't going to candidly and insightfully outline the consequences of the study and what we should do, but her conclusion was wonderfully vague--"They aren't doing well enough."

JOHNNY BIGSHOT: Jones, we've enjoyed having you work here, but...well, to be honest, you're just not doing well enough.
JONES: Well enough for what, sir?
JOHNNY BIGSHOT: For our knowledge-based economy, you cretin.

Any thoughts on what this means for America, for the 7 billion Chinese engineers that graduated last year who can build power plants out of Nancy Pelosi's integrity, or Ms. Finney and her opinion?


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Jackscolon said...

1) I'll agree that a vast majority of humans I meet on a day to day basis are complete idiots.

2) The situation can't possibly be that dire, because 20% of the cars I see on the road aren't running out of gas and most people can find jobs where their incompetence doesn't harm them. Plus, we don't plan on building a dam, and then estimate the cost somewhere between $12-100 billion dollars like China, our idiots find a way to be a little more precise.

3) People have excellent coping skills, so people that can't understand newspaper articles find a way to avoid reading them in the same way that people who can't swim avoid water.

4) Do you think that in collaborating for this article Joni Finney worried about offending some people and then thought "It doesn't matter, they won't understand what I'm saying anyway..."


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