Dr. Stat

Dr. Stat is a Statistics Professor. This blog is his opportunity to share ideas and opinions about education (especially math education), politics, and whatever else comes up.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fred's Column on Education

If you haven't checked out Fred Reed' s column, please do so today. Described as a "curmudgeon," Fred has pretty cynical views about lots of things, but his writing is addictive!

His latest column describes an "irresistible current" in America. I think we'd better get busy and resist it.

Little while back, I found a story about how Toyota decided to put a factory in Toronto because Americans were too hard to train when they weren’t actually illiterate. Isn’t that why companies don’t have factories in Zimbabwe? “Look, Ma, we’re almost a third-world country. Can I have a spear?” After decades of trying to make every kid as dumb as the dumbest kid, I guess we did it.

Ever ten minutes a study appears saying that kids can barely read. Yes! In America, the richest most hooptee-whatever, leader of nations, etc. How is this possible? How hard is it to teach kids to read? Not very. It’s hard to keep most of them from doing it.