Graduating From High School Without Reading

1506 words - 7 pages

The recent statistics that the education system could be producing high school graduates who are functionally illiterate is very worrying. Researchers interested in investigating whether the high school education system is producing illiterate graduates investigate the issue by exploring three types of illiteracies; functional, cultural and moral literacy. The most disturbing news is that the level of functional literacy among high school graduates is wanting. Functional literacy “is the inability to read or write well enough to accomplish everyday tasks in modern society” (Sweet Par. 2). According to Lederman, 14 percent of American adults are “functionally illiterate’’. In addition, 29 percent of American adults just have literacy level of a fifth to seventh grade graduate, while 25 percent of high school graduates just have an eighth grade level or below (Lederman par.2-4). From the above information, it is unfortunate that a huge number of students graduate from graduate from high school successfully regardless of the alarming level of functional illiteracy. Fundamentally, something need to be done to reduce the high number of illiterateness among high school graduate, by considering the factors behind the reality that some high school students graduate from high school without adequate reading skills. Reading John Corcoran book “The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read” shows that there is hope for improving the situation but the fundamental step is to identify the reasons why and how functionally illiterate students are allowed to advance to the next grade. This research paper discusses three factors, social promotion, the use of movies instead of book assignments, and cheating in academic tasks.
Firstly, social promotion has been identified as significant reason why some high school students are allowed to advance to the next class before they acquire proper reading skills for that particular grade. Social promotion is the situation whereby teachers allow the students to advance to the next class even though they have not passed in that particular grade to avoid students repeating the same grade. Cooper’s in his article “Pupils Sweat Out the ‘Big Test” reports that about one thousand 15-year-old high school students advance to the next class with a failing grade, because their schools do not to retain students who are considered to be too old for that grade (par.6). The logic behind this trend is that teachers think that if students are too old for a particular grade, they may lose their friends. The above argument is socially informed, in that, it is very strange that a tall and muscular student to be studying in the same class with students half his size, therefore, their teachers the social promotion aspect to promote students with failing grades to the next class. For instance, in her article “Reader’s Block” Karen highlights a story about Jay Thinessen a student who cannot read books but is allowed to graduate from high school. Jay’s...

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