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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mr. Dutcher on Oklahoma's Reading Levels

Found this courtesy of a Facebook friend. Read it and weep. Any emphasis is mine and in bold:
Twelve percent of Oklahoma’s adult population is “below basic” in prose literacy. Ms. Gregory equates this to a reading level of third grade and below.

Another 31 percent of the population reads at the “basic” level. This is between the fourth grade and seventh grade reading levels.

In other words...43 percent of Oklahoma’s adult population reads at a seventh grade level or lower.


...more than half of Oklahoma’s high-school graduates read at the basic level or below, i.e., at a seventh grade level or lower.

Arguably even more appalling is the revelation that 13 percent of Oklahoma’s college graduates read at that seventh grade level or lower.


The study, Reform with Results: What Oklahoma Can Learn from Florida’s K-12 Education Revolution, points out that “the reading scores of Oklahoma students over the past decade not only have failed to improve, they actually have declined. This drop came in spite of a 42.8 percent increase in the inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending in Oklahoma between 1998 and 2007.
I keep telling people that any reasonably interested parent can do a better job than the government schools. I am neither lying nor exaggerating. They are abominable. They will actually stunt your child's academic development--that is, even if your child does well, that is "doing well" only in relation to the other inmates children in the system. You parents who think your child is doing well in government schools would be appalled at how much better your child could be doing if only you took them out of those little indoctrination facilities and taught them yourselves.

Your frame of reference is badly skewed.

I am continually stunned that otherwise knowledgeable people allow their children to attend government schools. Please think about this for a moment. They are funded by government, staffed by government, managed by government--and yet, somehow, you seem to expect that your child will emerge from this environment without a profound reliance on governmental thinking. If he or she does, it is in spite of, not because of, his or her education. You cannot rationally expect a government entity to teach basic, common-sense skepticism of government.

You cannot reform this ugly sow. It was birthed in a desire to produce workers who were sufficiently educated to be productive workers and insufficiently educated to do the independent thinking necessary to challenge the status quo. You cannot fix it. It is flawed by design. All you can do is leave it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wow. I totally agree. Kudos to that awesome Facebook friend for posting it in the first place. :o)