“Oh yeah: Halifax!” says the CANADIAN college student. In dead seriousness. At which point I couldn’t keep out of this conversation any longer, and offered Hamilton as the answer. The AMERICAN was all smiles, agreeing that this was the name he had been trying to remember. I pointed out to the CANADIAN college student that Halifax was considerably further east than Toronto. The CANADIAN sheepishly explained that he had terrible geography teachers all throughout school. So that's why he thinks Halifax is near Niagara Falls!
I wonder what else he "knows"... say, about middle east politics.
With that sad conversation still ringing in my ears, I soon found this study on the literacy of college students, released by the American Institutes for Research, referenced over at my favorite blog on homeschooling, Why Homeschool :
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twenty percent of U.S. college students completing 4-year degrees – and 30 percent of students earning 2-year degrees – have only basic quantitative literacy skills, meaning they are unable to estimate if their car has enough gasoline to get to the next gas station or calculate the total cost of ordering office supplies, according to a new national survey by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The study was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
More than 75 percent of students at 2-year colleges and more than 50 percent of students at 4-year colleges do not score at the proficient level of literacy. This means that they lack the skills to perform complex literacy tasks, such as comparing credit card offers with different interest rates or summarizing the arguments of newspaper editorials.
From our ongoing experience, they may not know how to calculate the total cost of ordering office supplies, but they "know" Israel is bad, bad, bad and that the islamist threat to western civilization is merely the illusory mirage conjured up by oil-hungry neocons working for Halliburton. Why, it was all so carefully explained on the Colbert Report video clips that they were shown during class!