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Re: Better Book Bargains?

> Sorry, you ARE being pessimistic and NOT realistic:
> http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/15/c9/a4.pdf
> There is no statistical evidence to substantiated that reading level or
> comprehension has dropped in our public schools.  That's not to say that
> there aren't problems that need to be addressed (many of them involving
> funding) but qualitative generalizations like yours usually reflect
> objections to larger sociopolitical issues rather than any actual data on
> how well our kids read (or do math, or even...gasp...science).

Funding of course is a *big* problem, especially for many inner-city schools.

I'm interested, if you would happen to know a resource - how does U.S.
education stack up against that of other industrialized nations in
various subjects? I always hear that it's sort of OK but still
embarassingly low given our economic status, and that's what I based
my comment on. If you do know of some recent statistics, I think
that'd be cool to get updated about.

> Now, our adults on the other hand, are indeed performing worse in terms of
> both reading level and science understanding, but that's a different issue.
>  And so I end with two quotes worth reflecting on:
> "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
> authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
> of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households.
> They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
> contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the
> table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."
> (Attributed to Socrates in Plato's Republic Book 4)

I've loved this quote since high school. ;] Good stuff.

> "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
> frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
> words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of
> elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
> [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint"
> (Hesiod, 8th century BC).

I note (IIRC) that most of the societies with quotes like these
eventually decayed/collapsed/were conquered/etc.


But back to the subject at hand . . .