Between birthdays and beach time and book releases and a bunch of plane time, this August has proved to be very grudging in providing time to be “productive” here or elsewhere. A week and a half more on the road and hopefully that will change…more writing, more sharing, more connecting ahead. For now, just a quick observation…
I refer to the National Council Teachers of English reading and writing literacies often in my work. To me at least, the capture the challenge of this moment succinctly and compellingly. One of the best moments of my year came at one of my presentations at ISTE in Philadelphia last month, right after I had stated that upwards of 80% of all graduates in this country were illiterate by these standards, NCTE Vice President Sandy Hayes came up and corrected me, telling me it was more likely upwards of 95%.
Anyway, in light of the recent debt ceiling, deficit reduction dysfunction that’s been happening in Washington, it’s painfully clear that the majority of our leaders are illiterate by these standards as well, specifically this one:
Literate people in the 21st Century should be able to “build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally.”
See anyone in Congress “building relationships?” Solving problems collaboratively? Across cultures? Notsomuch.
And don’t even look at the others on that NCTE literacy list…