Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The mystery of outsourcing uncovered

MSNBC has a story about how more Americans can name all the Simpsons than can name more than one of the rights guaranteed in the 1st Amendment (Press, Religion, Assembly, Speech, and some complicated one).

No real surprise here. Just an excuse to show an old fave, an earlier MSNBC story that shows the majority of American college grads cannot complete intellectual tasks, such as, we shit you not, interpreting "a table about exercise and blood pressure."

Some of the priceless results:

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees, or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

Almost 20 percent of students pursuing four-year degrees had only basic quantitative skills. For example, the students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the service station. About 30 percent of two-year students had only basic math skills.

Most students at community colleges and four-year schools showed intermediate skills, meaning they could perform moderately challenging tasks. Examples include identifying a location on a map, calculating the cost of ordering office supplies or consulting a reference guide to figure out which foods contain a particular vitamin.

Great. So when a teacher asks where all the smart kids are in the world, "most students" will be able to pick out that location on a map. Just don't made them calculate how many jobs.


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