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We Don't Need No Stinkin Books

Monday, November 19, 2007
Apparently Americans don't like to read anymore. A recently released study indicates that reading and reading proficiency has declined dramatically over the last 20 years. That means that people don't just not read Faulkner, they can't. To quote:

The NEA reports that in 2006, 15-to-24-year-olds spent just 7 to 10 minutes a day voluntarily reading anything at all. It also notes that between 1992 and 2003, the percentage of college graduates who tested as "proficient in reading prose" declined from 40 percent to 31 percent.

This is positively alarming. It's not just about people being too busy to read once they start working - it's about people never learning the value of opening a good book. It's about people not even reading when they're in school. Now I've quibbled with Brazen over whether there's an inherent value in reading, but the fact that reading abilities are in decline signals a serious problem in our society. I don't have any data, but I'm willing to guess that there's a correlation between literacy and critical thinking and self-efficacy. Tell me, how long do you think this will remain an affluent democracy when it turns into an Idiocracy?
Posted by Arbitrista @ 2:52 PM
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