J Walking

J Walking

Read less and score worse – shocker

How is this for a stunning, amazing, earth-shattering study:

Harry Potter, James Patterson and Oprah Winfrey’s book club aside, Americans — particularly young Americans — appear to be reading less for fun, and as that happens, their reading test scores are declining. At the same time, performance in other academic disciplines like math and science is dipping for students whose access to books is limited, and employers are rating workers deficient in basic writing skills.

Stop the presses. The more children read the better that do in tests that they have to read. This is genius. I wonder how much the study cost.
Interestingly, that article, from the New York Times, bears a striking resemblance to this article from The Onion:


According to a groundbreaking new study by the Department of Labor, working—the physical act of engaging in a productive job-related activity—may greatly increase the amount of work accomplished during the workday, especially when compared with the more common practices of wasting time and not working.
“Our findings are astounding: By simply sitting down and doing work, employees can dramatically increase their output of goods and services,” said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor Charlotte Ponticelli, who authored the report. “In fact, ‘working’ may revolutionize the way people work.

Of course The Onion is a work of satire. And The New York Times…

Comments read comments(7)
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posted November 20, 2007 at 10:13 am

I’m gonna give it a try, by golly!

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posted November 20, 2007 at 10:40 am

Let’s see…when such statements are made without studies to support them, conservatives complain that there is no evidence. When a study is done that provides evidence, they complain that the study simply shows what is obvious.
Maybe instead you need to be giving folks like this a sharp kick in the side.
“The new report is likely to provoke as much debate as the previous one. Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus of education at the University of Southern California, said that based on his analysis of other data, reading was not on the decline. He added that the endowment appeared to be exaggerating the decline in reading scores and said that according to federal education statistics, the bulk of decreases in 12th-grade reading scores had occurred in the early 1990s, and that compared with 1994 average reading scores in 2005 were only one point lower.”
Rather than quibbling about whether or not the results of the study are “obvious” maybe we should be questioning the federal government (and their paid researchers) as to why they cannot see what you claim is obvious, and why they rejected a previous study that showed exactly the same thing!

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posted November 20, 2007 at 10:50 am

Hahahah! I am going to forward that to everyone I know!

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posted November 20, 2007 at 4:18 pm

You know, normally I tend to be more moderate, but this is one area that I agree with the Libertarians on. We need to dismantle the dept. of Education and stop passing legislation that forces our teachers and students on how well the do on tests and instead allow control at the local level so that students can spent their time actually getting educated. Maybe then, they will have the TIME to explore their world, pick up a book because it looks interesting without having to worry about some big assignment that’s due.
I work at at University and the kids coming in are more tech savvy in many ways, but they don’t know how things work – they lack that curiosity that only comes when as a child, you have TIME and OPPORTUNITY to explore and ask questions. Yes, I think that the KIDS should be asking questions, not the teachers. I think that the best way for them to develop critical thinking skills is to let them figure things out for themselves.
Let’s stop focusing on test scores and start focusing on education. And let’s also stop telling every kid they are a loser if they don’t go to Yale or Harvard. If a child has a talent for building things, let him become a builder without looking down on him.
OK – Sorry about that…. Too little sleep results in me saying what I think.

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posted November 20, 2007 at 4:20 pm

OK – and I need to slow down and do some proof-reading before I hit post…
Sorry about that ya’ll. 😉

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posted November 20, 2007 at 7:09 pm

It’s been observed that public life and politics now sadly resembles a lot of what was written as satire in The Onion a few years ago.

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Larry Parker

posted November 21, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I think NCLB was well-intended. But ah, the devil is in the details …

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