Friday, February 23, 2007


There is troubling news concerning students, from the wires;

"Twelfth-graders' reading skills have hit a new low, but their grades continue to climb, according to federal officials who suspect the nation's schools are inflating grades

According to one report, the latest nationwide test results in 12th-grade reading have hit their lowest point since testing in that subject first began.

Meanwhile, grade-point averages have continued their steady rise, according to a companion report on high-school transcripts. In 1990, the typical students' grade average in English was 2.52 out of a possible 4.0, or the equivalent of a C-plus. By 2005, the typical grade average was 2.82, equivalent to a B-minus"

The problem here is that reading skills are diminishing severely but the grade point averages are rising, not reflecting the reality of what is happening. The truth is unknown at this point as to why that is happening. It could be that teachers are being pressured by administration and parents to give high grades. It could be that in the politically correct culture we live in that no one is deserving of a bad grade, regardless of performance.

We do not know the reasons for this disparity, but we need to recognize the gravity of the problem. Kids are graduating high school and are unable to read at a mature level. Kids will graduate and grow into adults who do not read. We will become a society where the vast majority are unable to read, and we are on the fast track to that now. What is the problem with that you ask? The problem is that there will be an incredible class distinction. Those who are readers and those who are not, and if you think that does not matter check out any country where this is the case. Look into societies where the majority did not read but the minority did. It opens the door to people being taken great advantage of, while the ruling class lords over their superiority.

Intellect and cognitive ability are things we can improve. God has designed us all with the ability to gain wisdom. He has made us so that we can grow in our knowledge, and become a people who are able to read and write and interact at a high level. We need to be encouraging our young people to read, read, and then read some more. To not rely on CD'S or DVDs or computers, but to get their hands on real tangible books and sit down and spend serious time with them. There are no substitutes. Parents need to require this from their children. If not it will haunt us in a number of ways, not the least of which will be to hear our grown children struggle with the Word of God as they testify to "not being readers." Lets determine that will not be the testimony of the next generation. Lets do all we can to extol the virtues of reading. It is more than a matter of a disparity of grades and averages, is it the survival of a culture, in the balance, as we know it!

blog you later,
pastor tom