At Work

While the NFL protests who knows what generalized grievances we ignore the real issues. 

Injustice, inequality or unfairness; it’s always easier to blame someone else. 

Nothing can be more basic that the skill to read and read well. You can do about anything in life if you can read and do so voraciously. Yet look at these number and keep in mind these are the students going to college 😳 [imagine the percentages for those not trying college]

I am amused when those obsessed with inequality see the solution as higher taxes or even wealth taxes on the rich. In other words, close the gap by tearing down rather than building up.  How is that a solution in this global, high tech world if our students can’t even read?

Whose fault is this sad state of affairs? Why isn’t every single high school graduate proficient in reading? Why are only 7% of black students proficient at math and 17% proficient at reading? That’s a disgrace and inexcusable. 

Who is to blame, the education system, teachers, students, families? All of the above in my opinion. How do we expect to compete in the world, to raise the middle class, to close income gaps if our young people (our college students) are borderline literate?

Note that in no race or ethnic group does the proficiency number reach 50%. And yet, many Americans and teachers fight against standardized testing; claim it stresses students and causes them to teach to only a test. Well, exactly what are they teaching to now? 

We have the majority of our students who can’t do math, read proficiently, know zero of history and likely can’t write. So, NFL players, use some of your wealth and time to focus on concrete fixable issues that can solve many problems we are all concerned about. Get off your knees at our national anthem and do something tangible for the people you claim to champion. 


4 replies »

  1. My understanding is that the level of difficulty varies from state to state.

    Today, all progressing onto college end up with a different level of education based on the accident of zip code. Some of the states with the supposedly highest proficiency standards lowered the scores needed to be “proficient”. And, even within a state’s system, too many times an elementary student who is, say 3rd grade or 6th grade proficient then stumbles when she reaches high school. The challenge, of course, is whether that was the result of making the 3rd and 6th grade proficiencies relatively easy, or because the 7th grade on teachers were crap – or something else.

    Let me get this straight, we had eight years of Bill Clinton, eight years of George W. Bush and eight years of Barack Obama. During this period of time, we went from Bill Clinton’s initiatives designed to strengthen policing, and extend sentences, and encourage aggressive tactics, which Bush II and Obama pretty much left alone until later in President Obama’s 2nd term.

    So, folks, most of the teen and early 20’s murder and other activity were all people who only knew one of three presidents and their policies. True, they are federal, and most policing is done at the local level, but, obviously, the NFL protests are now primarily aimed at a national audience, and over the past two weeks, President *#/@&*# – as if federal legislators and federal executive branch leadership was in charge of what happens on your local street corner. .


  2. How do you define proficient? It is hard to believe that many people in the USA cannot read or do basic math. I guess basic math is not proficient and reading your cell texts, articles, etc. are not sufficient to be proficient. I can believe that there is a huge discretion of history as I feel this is not taught in today’s world. I agree with you about the NFL however. Get off your knees and do something tangible for the people you champion. No, it is all about the spotlight!


    • I don’t define proficient. That was the results of studies by the colleges and their associations not me. I assume it means proficient reading college level material and doing college entry level math. There is more to reading than just being able to read. There is comprehension of what is read and the degree of difficulty of the material being read as well. That is the difference between a 1st grader reading and a 11th grader reading.


    • I do not know how to define proficient but I know a lot of people that cannot or will balance a checkbook. I know a lot of younger people who think it is okay to write business documents the same way they text and tweet.

      A month ago, I had a young man who could not make change. After a few hours I realized that it was not directly him but the education system and how businesses tried to compensate for the poor educational system. The cash register was telling him to give the wrong amount of change because he entered the wrong amount that he was holding in his hand. But he just could not think for himself and figure it out. He just knew he had to give exactly what the register told him to give.
      He thought I was trying to rip him off because he could not properly count the money in his hand.

      The kid was trying at least and he was working at a job instead of selling drugs. I hope one day he can find a skill he can do or pay attention in class if he is still in school otherwise he will be dead handling drug money if he cannot count cash.

      I remember learning to count playing cards and bowling. These days, bowling alleys have automatic scoring and every video game counts for you. Nobody really plays cards anymore. We just handle cashiers plastic cards and I bet most people have no idea what the total should be before they reach the checkout line. We should not be surprised in these results.


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