Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Assessing American High School Students: Not a Pretty Picture

April 2, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

In the average American big city among 17 assessed, only about 34% of the high school students graduate. About 60% of those same young people have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).What does this say about America’s future? And why aren’t we hearing solutions to these glaring social ills from our candidates for President of the United States?

“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1837.

Wouldn’t he be proud of today’s teenagers, their parents and teachers?

In the most recent study of high school graduation trends, seventeen of the nation’s 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released April 1, 2008.

The study was conducted by America’s Promise Alliance, an organization founded by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell. His wife Alma chaired the assessment group.Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.jpg
Colin Powell while serving as Secretary of State.  We at Peace
and Freedom
have the utmost respect for Colin and Alma Powell for their work.

“When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem, it’s a catastrophe,” said Powell. “This has to stop. We, as a nation, must correct this problem.”

“We must invest in the whole child, and that means finding solutions that involve the family, the school and the community,” said Alma Powell.

While more than one million boys and girls drop out of high school, more than 3 million girls nationwide have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

“This is pretty shocking,” said Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in New York.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored the STD study.

“Those numbers are certainly alarming,” said sex education expert Nora Gelperin, who works with a teen-written Web site called sexetc.org. She said they reflect “the sad state of sex education in our country.”

“Sexuality is still a very taboo subject in our society,” she said. “Teens tell us that they can’t make decisions in the dark and that adults aren’t properly preparing them to make responsible decisions.”

The Associated Press reported that the teens were tested for four infections: human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer and affected 18 percent of girls studied; chlamydia, which affected 4 percent; trichomoniasis, 2.5 percent; and genital herpes, 2 percent.

Dr. John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, said the results are the first to examine the combined national prevalence of common sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent girls.

He said the data, now a few years old, likely reflect current prevalence rates.

Disease rates were significantly higher among black girls — nearly half had at least one STD, versus 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-Americans.

Besides high school graduation rates and rates of sexually transmitted diseases, how else might we seek information on American teenagers?

One area already assessed is the rate that our nation reads and “self-educates.”

We’ve written about and commented about reading trends several times in multiple publications.

But a Washington Times editorial published November 21, 2007 said it best: when it comes to reading many Americans have decidd not to.

Bombarded with media, computers and video games, their reading habits are declining measurably. Nor is it simply the young.

In an unprecedented research synthesis released this week, the National Endowment for the Arts shows how reading habits have declined in recent years with a grim picture of what could only be called the nation’s nonreading public.

Here are some of the troubling highlights of “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence.”

From 1982 to 2002, the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who read literature dropped from 60 percent to 43 percent. Fifty-two percent of the same age demographic said they read a book voluntarily in 2002, which is down from 59 percent a decade earlier.

The percentage of 17-year-olds who read for pleasure almost every day dropped from 31 percent to 22 percent over the period 1984-2004. It also seems that a college education is ever less a guarantee of good reading skills. The sole bright spot occurs among 9-year-olds, whose reading comprehension has improved over the last decade.

Barring this exception, the results are remarkably and troublingly consistent in study after study. Money spent on books in the United States dropped 14 percent during the period 1985-2005 when accounting for inflation. Seventy-two percent of employers report finding high-school graduates “deficient” in reading comprehension.

And the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees who score “proficient in reading prose” fell from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003.

With the rise of the Internet and online news consumption, some might argue that queries about “reading” fail to capture the entire picture if they do not account for online activities. But all modes of reading are not equal.

We might take this argument more seriously when teenagers are found reading Shakespeare or Herman Melville online. Far likelier they are surfing MySpace or Facebook.

Our increasing failure to read constitutes a kind of creeping national illiteracy which should concern everyone, not simply librarians and booksellers.

Literacy is an integral aspect of civil society. Substance, culture and literature should not be the ironic casualties of the “Information Age.”

All we’ve discussed here still leaves out the disabling impact of drugs, alcohol and teen pregnancy on our younger generation.

The only conclusion one can possibly draw from reading the reports on high school graduation rates, sexually transmitted disease rates and reading trends among American youth is this: unless action is taken we are a nation with a future at risk.

There are about 300 million Americans just now. There are about 1.3 billion Chinese.

And China has a world recognized machine for turning out the educated young people it needs.

One has to draw his or her own conclusions.
—–
Compiled from the official reports cited in the text, AFP, AP, UPI, Fox News, ABC News The Washington Times and CNN.

Related:

U.S. High Schools Graduate “About Half” in Cities

Study finds 1 in 4 US teens has a STD

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Alarming Facts

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

The End of Literacy? Don’t Stop Reading.

The Dumbing Of America; Nation of Dunces?

Government study: Americans reading less

High Prescription Drug Use and Abuse in Colleges

American High Schools: Abysmally Few Graduates

The End of Literacy? Don’t Stop Reading.

February 17, 2008

By Howard Gardner
The Washington Post
Sunday, February 17, 2008; Page B01.
.
What will happen to reading and writing in our time?
.
Could the doomsayers be right? Computers, they maintain, are destroying literacy. The signs — students’ declining reading scores, the drop in leisure reading to just minutes a week, the fact that half the adult population reads no books in a year — are all pointing to the day when a literate American culture becomes a distant memory. By contract, optimists foresee the Internet ushering in a new, vibrant participatory culture of words. Will they carry the day?
.
Maybe neither. Let me suggest a third possibility: Literacy — or an ensemble of literacies — will continue to thrive, but in forms and formats we can’t yet envision.

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/15/AR2008021502898.html

The Dumbing Of America; Nation of Dunces?

February 17, 2008

By Susan Jacoby
The Washington Post
Sunday, February 17, 2008; Page B01
.
“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today’s very different United States. Americans are in serious intellectual trouble — in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to a virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism and low expectations.
.
This is the last subject that any candidate would dare raise on the long and winding road to the White House. It is almost impossible to talk about the manner in which public ignorance contributes to grave national problems without being labeled an “elitist,” one of the most powerful pejoratives that can be applied to anyone aspiring to high office.
.
Instead, our politicians repeatedly assure Americans that they are just “folks,” a patronizing term that you will search for in vain in important presidential speeches before 1980. (Just imagine: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . and that government of the folks, by the folks, for the folks, shall not perish from the earth.”) Such exaltations of ordinariness are among the distinguishing traits of anti-intellectualism in any era.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/15/
AR2008021502901.html
 

Pakistan: Eye Witness Account from Muhammad, December 26, 2007

December 26, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

Hoping you and your team will be alright. Today I have read a report carried by various newspapers in Pakistan. The US aid plan for Pakistan’s tribal areas is in jeopardy as there are concerns about the lack of an adequate system to keep track of the money, according to The New York Times.

The plan calls for $750 million to be used in the areas over a five-year period, but some say it’s unrealistic to think that the money could be targeted properly in a lawless region where the government has little, if any, influence and there is no US troop presence, the report published on Tuesday added.The civilian aid programme would provide jobs and schooling, build 600 miles of roads and improve literacy in an area where almost no women can read.

Some US lawmakers are concerned that a rush to spend could lead to some of the same problems that were experienced in Iraq, particularly since the plan for Pakistan would also heavily rely on private contractors that can “eat up as much as half the budget.”

As of now, the programme is scheduled to start slowly and will eschew mention of its American origins since there is so much anti-US sentiment in the region.

“My sense is they are ready to start, but who is going to be responsible for management?”  Congressman John F. Tierney asked.

Mr Tierney, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is one of several members of Congress who have begun pushing the State Department for details of how the civilian aid will be monitored.

They said they had not received satisfactory answers.

The importance of the issue, they said, was underlined by the scores of investigations into corruption connected with huge amounts of money and equipment for reconstruction and strengthening Iraq’s army and police forces that cannot be accounted for. “We’re not quite certain about it,” Mr Tierney said. “I have concerns that it not be a repeat of situations in Iraq.”

The new programme is meant to start slowly, with about $350 million to be made available for bidding initially. Among the handful of companies invited to bid are DynCorp International and Creative Associates International Inc, both of which won substantial contracts in Iraq. How effective they will be in the tribal areas is equally uncertain.The Pakistani authorities have ruled out using foreign non-profit groups, known as NGOs, shorthand for nongovernmental organizations. But neither do they approve the American choice of private contractors. They would like the money to go through them.

“We are living in times when NGOs are considered to be all out to convert tribesmen,” Javed Iqbal, until recently the additional chief secretary of Fata told the Times.

“To deal with the tribesmen, you have to understand the tribes,” Mr Iqbal said.  “You cannot ask a woman how frequently she takes contraception, which was one of the questions on an NGO questionnaire. The first reaction is going to box you in the face, and then tell you to get lost”

But Mr Iqbal said he was convinced that the for-profit companies would take a disproportionate amount of the programme money. “Forty-eight per cent of the programme money goes to consultants,” he said.

Dear Sir, I want to bring in your kind notice that Peace and Freedom can deliver positive result in the tribal areas if the task was given to it. It has been enjoying the support of people of tribal areas. The corrupt Pakistani officials should be ignored in this plan.

According to report from other parts of tribal areas, Violence spread to more areas in the Kurram Agency on Tuesday amid reports of infiltration of militants from nearby areas, sources said.

Four people were killed and 10 others were injured in clashes during the day, raising the death toll to 12 in three days. Doctors said that 32 injured people had been admitted to the agency headquarters hospital in Parachinar. However, the exact casualty figures could not be ascertained.Political Agent Zaheerul Islam confirmed only seven casualties in three days of clashes.

A senior official told Dawn in Peshawar that the Civil Secretariat, Fata, had sought more army troops to cope with the situation. “The authorities have formally requested the 11 Corps Headquarters to send more troops to the agency to control the situation,” the official said.

The ISPR’s Director-General, Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad, however, said that an adequate number of troops had already been deployed in the region. If local authorities needed reinforcements, the army would take their demand into consideration, said Maj-Gen Arshad.

A security official, Shakil Qadir, confirmed that skirmishes continued in different parts of the agency and there was a likelihood of reconvening the peace jirga to broker a ceasefire.A 15-member jirga from Hangu had left the area after it failed to broker a truce. It was constituted by the NWFP governor.

Heavy clashes were reported from Sadda, Balishkhel, Alizai, Tangai, Anzeri and Shashu. Security was tightened in Parachinar city and authorities did not relax curfew restrictions on Tuesday.

In the Balishkhel area, rival groups set houses on fire, displacing a large number of people.

Dear Sir, thank you very much again!

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

The death of reading

November 21, 2007

Editorial
The Washington Times
November 21, 2007

To read or not to read: That is not the question for America’s teenagers and college students. They’ve already decided not to. Bombarded with media, computers and video games, their reading habits are declining measurably. Nor is it simply the young.

In an unprecedented research synthesis released this week, the National Endowment for the Arts shows how reading habits have declined in recent years with a grim picture of what could only be called the nation’s nonreading public.

Here are some of the troubling highlights of “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence.” From 1982 to 2002, the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who read literature dropped from 60 percent to 43 percent. Fifty-two percent of the same age demographic said they read a book voluntarily in 2002, which is down from 59 percent a decade earlier.

The percentage of 17-year-olds who read for pleasure almost every day dropped from 31 percent to 22 percent over the period 1984-2004. It also seems that a college education is ever less a guarantee of good reading skills. The sole bright spot occurs among 9-year-olds, whose reading comprehension has improved over the last decade.

Barring this exception, the results are remarkably and troublingly consistent in study after study. Money spent on books in the United States dropped 14 percent during the period 1985-2005 when accounting for inflation. Seventy-two percent of employers report finding high-school graduates “deficient” in reading comprehension. And the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees who score “proficient in reading prose” fell from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003.
With the rise of the Internet and online news consumption, some might argue that queries about “reading” fail to capture the entire picture if they do not account for online activities. But all modes of reading are not equal. We’ll take this argument more seriously when teenagers are found reading Shakespeare or Herman Melville online. Far likelier they are surfing MySpace or Facebook.

Our increasing failure to read constitutes a kind of creeping national illiteracy which should concern everyone, not simply librarians and booksellers. Literacy is an integral aspect of civil society. Substance, culture and literature should not be the ironic casualties of the “Information Age.”

Government study: Americans reading less

November 20, 2007

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

NEW YORK – The latest National Endowment for the Arts report draws on a variety of sources, public and private, and essentially reaches one conclusion: Americans are reading less.

The 99-page study, “To Read or Not to Read,” is being released Monday as a follow-up to a 2004 NEA survey, “Reading at Risk,” that found an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year.

“To Read or Not to Read” gathers an array of government, academic and foundation data on everything from how many 9-year-olds read every day for “fun” (54 percent) to the percentage of high school graduates deemed by employers as “deficient” in writing in English (72 percent).

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071119/ap_on_en_
ot/books_nea_study;_ylt=AlDULzDuRPrxDktI
4Xog2Iis0NUE

Harry Potter, Gay Life and “Question Authority”

October 24, 2007

By Ben Shapiro
Townhall
October 24, 2007

I  am not a fan of the Harry Potter series. Nonetheless, I, like every other sentient human being, know something about Harry Potter. Most of my friends are fans. My three younger sisters are fans. I’ve seen the movies. I’ve read small portions of several of the books.So when J.K. Rowling announced last week that Albus Dumbledore, the aged headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was gay, I was somewhat confused. When did the old dude with the funky beard turn into Gore Vidal?  

According to Rowling, Dumbledore was always Gore Vidal. At a Carnegie Hall reading, one of Rowling’s fans asked whether Dumbledore had ever found “true love.” “Dumbledore is gay,” Rowling gleefully responded. Dumbledore was apparently in love with his rival, Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling explained. Dumbledore’s homosexual crush, Rowling stated, was his “great tragedy.” Rowling went on to label the Harry Potter books a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and told her fans to “question authority.”

Read the rest:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/
2007/10/24/dumbledore_waves_the_rainbow_flag

Related:
Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

October 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 22, 2007

Congratulations to Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling who is now re-writing her best sellers in public pronouncements long after completion the editing and publication process.

Ms. Rowling stunned an audience this weekend by proclaiming that Dumbledore, the wise Hogwarts headmaster and mentor to Harry, is gay.

The liberal media has jumped on this morsel of new information, telling media outlets that now Harry Potter can teach our children about “tolerance.”

Personally, I have come to hate that word “tolerance” as a staple of liberal Democrats, Bill Clinton and others we have no use for at Peace and Freedom.

It might not be politically correct but we much prefer the word “standards” to tolerance – since the liberal media has turned tolerance into “just about anything goes.”

The NBC “Today Show,” the same show that sympathized with gay comedian Ellen about her dog predicament, gleefully reported the new news on Harry Potter and his buddies.

Frankly, we think this is another reason to deny Ms. Rowling any more wealth for producing questionable if not down right detrimental reading material aimed at our children.

Do your kids a favor: get them interested in the facts of history. Real people with real skills and real bravery are a lot better than fantasy, magic and extolling the virtues (?) of gay people.

We don’t hate gay people but we sure do not think they need to be put upon a pedestal or held up as role models for our kids either.

We think one’s sex life — anyone’s sex life — is a private matter.

********************
Priests Say Harry Potter Promotes Evil

Miguel Sanchez
For Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007
(Mexico City)

Is Harry Potter really a good thing for your children to read?

At least one member of the Roman Catholic Church clergy has come forward to say Harry Potter could do damage to a child’s mind.

The Reverend Pedro Mendoza is the Director of Exorcists in the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

Peace and Freedom caught up with Father Mendoza after learning he had a strongly contrary view to the masses who turned out Friday night to buy the latest and apparently final Harry Potter book.

“I think a book like this does a lot of damage,” the priest told us. “At its core it is about sorcery. I am sure that is not the best use of a child’s mind.”

Father Mendoza made similar comments at the end of a five-day exorcism conference in Mexico City last week.

”If you put all these ideas in a child’s head, that he can become a wizard, the child believes that, and that is opening an avenue through which the devil can get in,” Mendoza said Friday – the eve of the release of the series’ final book.

He said that Harry Potter ”doesn’t interest us,” but ” unfortunately, it does a lot of damage.”

“When family ties began weakening, the priest said, often the mass media starts to proliferate ”new ideas” and ”abusing sensationalism.

“Without strong, faith-bound families, which he said allow individuals to see God’s work in everyday life, people lose touch with God and seek ‘magical solutions’ to modern problems.”

“There are many demonic influences, curses and forms of witchcraft,” he said. ”And it’s in that field that the devil is able to work.”

“We should not accept sorcery or wizardry as a good thing when there is so much good in the world to embrace.”

Another priest with parallel views is Father John Corapi who says, “It is just not wise to place yourself or your children in the near occasion of evil.”

Related:

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

July 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007

I may be the only one in America that isn’t fond of Harry Potter. In fact, I find the book series a time wasting distraction that leads kids towards fantasy and novels and away from much greater reading learning experiences and challenges: like world or American history.

On February 28, 2004, American historian Daniel Boorstin died. On that same day, local high school students on the TV quiz show “It’s Academic,” in Washington D.C., failed to even make a guess at the answer to a simple question about the American Civil War and Fort Sumter.

So you may say, “why is the Civil War so important?” The saving of one continental nation? The emancipation of the slaves? Are there no lessons here about determination, dedication and perseverance for our children to learn?

Boorstin: lawyer, head of the Library of Congress for 12 years, faculty member of the University of Chicago for 25 years, and writer more than 20 books was a spectacular American worth “knowing” though his works. His famous trilogy on the American experience, U.S.A., gave us deep lessons into who we are as Americans.

Boorstin was a man of depth and merit who left us a legacy.

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but Harry Potter is not the best use of a child’s time or brain.

Harry Potter is just one more waste of time on top of so many video games, T.V. shows and other horrible uses of wonderful tools like the human mind, the imagination, the intellect and the computers that makes us tick: ourselves and our fellow Americans.

Since there are only 24 hours in each day, and many of those hours are already packed full of clutter and entertainment, I am generally not in favor of more that disassociates people from reality.  Especially those masters of the future universe, our children, should be encouraged to take a bite out of real life a little more often.  The current diet of pop culture is too heavy in what clogs the veins and mind.

Ever wonder why American history, values and society are no longer a mainstay of American schools and media? Because many of the Founders were unusually talented super-achievers and every single one was a firm believer in The Almighty.

Today: your kids’ teachers want them talking about abortion, sex education and gay marriage but certainly not God or the values, traditions and history that made America great. In fact, most of our corps of teachers are liberal and not conservative and don’t really believe that America is great (if it ever was, they say).

And there is another subliminal message: YOU CANNOT EVER be a super-achiever yourself.

We are treating our children to a brainwashing of mediocrity.
Photo
Chinese students take an exam en-masse.

History is filled with super-achievers, inventors, military leaders, scientists and researchers. History teaches that money is not always the most valuable commodity or goal.

American history teaches us the values, rights and responsibilities of our citizenship. History makes us a nation: a race of people and not just a collision of different peoples from many lands.

You can be born French, but when you move in from another land you don’t necessarily become French. When you move to America and become a citizen, you are embraced as an American.

People come here to share in the values and rights of all Americans. Yet we, as parents and teachers, neglect them or even undermine them.

Understanding who gained those American rights and how they achieved them is important because those rights bind us together as a people.

Our history is “Ich bin ein Berliner,” the Boston Tea Party, Ellis Island, Posk Chop Hill, Gettysburg, and “I have a dream.” Our history is the Emancipation Proclamation, Bill of Rights, and Constitution.

Our history is our culture. Our focus upon Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson, “Lord of the Rings,” and, yes, Harry Potter himself, is fleeting, largely meaningless debris. The liberties gained by our history are lasting and binding and allow us a free Hollywood entertainment machine. But you can’t learn history from Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

How many kids in your child’s classroom know that George Washington was an accomplished horticulturist who created hybrid plants and made his own wine? How many can appreciate the architectural genius of Thomas Jefferson? How many know that Benjamin Franklin charted the ocean’s currents on his way to Europe to serve as an Ambassador?

Do your children know that a Black Man and former slave named Frederick Douglass was instrumental in freeing the slaves and became one of the finest orators of his time? And how many can discuss Mark Twain: another world renown orator? How many know what an orator IS?

How many of your children know that Black Men like Christian Fleetwood were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War? How many know what the Medal of Honor is and what it means?

How many of your children can articulate even one story of an American immigrant super-achiever like Henry Villard: a German speaking immigrant who became one of the finest English language journalists of his day and then rose to become an American Tycoon?

In fact: our American story is filled with super-achievers. Real men and women who were super achievers. Who needs novels and stories of fantasy when the facts of our predecessors from all races and all places is tremendously enlightening and challenging?

Our history teaches us toughness and serenity. Through history we learn the dichotomies of man and the strange bedfellows life brings. We learn that Great Britain, George Bush’s greatest ally in Iraq, is also the nation that burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol in 1814. And yet the Republic survived. So what really did the nation have to fear on September 11, 2001? Fear itself? And who coined that phrase?

And the history of man, world history, teaches us how tribes became cultures and nations.

Madam Curie, Robert Fulton, Robert Peary, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Charles Lindbergh, Albert Einstein and so many more through history offer all of us, and especially our children, lessons in life.

And the stories of these people may inspire future greatness among our children.

History makes us appreciate what it means to be an American and our history compels us read. But don’t read your kids’ history textbooks. They are often politically correct collections of facts and misinterpretation not worth reading. Understanding history, like mining, requires one to dig deep into the writings of and about great men, at least occasionally.

Ignoring our history belittles the greatness of our nation. It also insults the intelligence of our children. By building a national generation of pop culture worshipers instead of a generation of dedicated super-achievers we send the message that Michael Vick and Paris Hilton are really valuable and important.

Is this what we really want?

I don’t like Harry Potter one bit. It is another piece of pop culture trash that detracts from reality instead of embracing it.

Sorry to rain on anyone’s parade but if we as a nation and a culture continue to loudly applaud the stuff that makes the barn floor slippery we can expect a lot more slippery stuff in our society.

Related:
Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Reading American history about the early years of America and the Founders is enlightening…..
Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

++++++++++++++++++++++++

An open letter to Free Republic readers and others linking to this article:

Here are a few ideas to consider as you attack my ideas.

–I do not believe that money equals value. In other words, Pet Rocks made a lot of money for someone but we are still a ways from curing cancer. Paris Hilton and Michael Vick have made a lot of money, but in many places they would not be welcome near children…..

–I very much do agree that reading is important (as the essay clearly says). But reading garbage is a waste of time. Harry Potter is 5 books. Those have been blockbusters. Great. But that has not translated into more readership overall. Despite Harry Potter, readership, especially teen readership, is in a steep decline.

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

–My recommendation for parent younger than …well, my age…is that they start to attack their schools. If teachers think the learning/reading dilemma is solved with Sir Harry they are wildly off the mark. In fact, off the reservation.

Finally, I hope people will read Part II of this essay which deals with our national well being and understanding America’s Founders and roots.

Part II:
Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

All the best to everyone.

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

July 20, 2007

Despite what has been dubbed the “Harry Potter Effect” — which credits J.K. Rowling’s blockbuster book series with turning Game Boy addicts into lifelong readers — reading is in serious decline among teens nationwide, according to a forthcoming federal study.

A decade of Potter-mania peaks at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, when 12 million copies of the seventh and last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” go on sale in the United States. Thus far, the books have sold 325 million copies in 64 languages worldwide.

But as educators assess the phenomenon that lured millions of young readers to tackle longer books, they find that Harry Potter alone could not stem the decline in reading rates.

Read the rest:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/15/MNGN7R0Q1N1.DTL&hw=
reading+potter+benson&sn=002&sc=189