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Old 04-28-2008, 09:30 PM
 
Location: North of The Border
253 posts, read 1,664,464 times
Reputation: 444

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<Moderator cut: Please see forum Terms of Service: You MAY post links to articles and excerpts, but not the full text of the full article.

Last edited by EnjoyEP; 04-29-2008 at 11:37 AM.. Reason: may not post the full text of an article (forum TOS)
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Tejas
7,600 posts, read 17,056,076 times
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Interesting reading. As per TOS you might wanna edit the post and only include the first two paragraphs of the article, copyright etc. Leave the link for people to read.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:57 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,531 posts, read 16,994,070 times
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It would be nice if the OP could include some personal comment too, a bit more than just an article quote, perhaps something to kick off the discussion.

The full quote does seem to violate the CD TOS, in addition to flaunting copyright laws.

How much of a population do you need to be literate and have a successful economy? How much an illiterate population will be absorbed in jobs that do not require literacy (e.g. hamburger flippers). How much does the state and the populace benefit due to the differential between hamburger flippers and rocket scientists?

Does NM want an industrial economy or a tourism economy? Which would benefit citizens more, and which citizens?
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:06 PM
 
1,399 posts, read 3,870,820 times
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I read the above article the other day...and it's pretty horrifying. No amount of growth, educational opportunities or available good jobs will make up for a populace that can't read, write, or add. It's a huge, huge problem on many levels.
A couple weeks ago I was up in Gallup on business, and the bride and I stopped in a fast food place for a cheeseburger. After ordering, the trainee (shadowed by a supervisor) at the register told me what the total was. I gave him 10 bucks and he hit the total button. At that point I reached out and handed him 32 cents...the exact change so I could get just bills back. The kid got wide-eyed....not a clue what to do. Worse, the supervisor couldn't figure it out. Then a third person entered the fray. After they huddled and whispered for 10 or 15 seconds, I told them how much money to give me. They all looked relieved (but embarassed) and handed me the bills I had requested. Without the cash register telling them what change to give me all three were lost..... I'll bet a lot of you have had a version of this experience.
That being said, Gov. Bill's idea of linking drivers licenses to academic achievement and school attendance is innovative and a very good idea. A good start, in any case. If there's one thing a kid will pay attention to (besides video games) it's getting that license.
I hope it can be implemented and that it's successful, and that if some success is realized it will be expanded and made LOTS tougher. Won't save the world, but anything that has a positive effect is much needed. Might spread to other states as well.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:11 PM
 
946 posts, read 3,047,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecpatl View Post
Gov. Bill's idea of linking drivers licenses to academic achievement and school attendance is innovative and a very good idea. A good start, in any case. If there's one thing a kid will pay attention to (besides video games) it's getting that license.
I hope it can be implemented and that it's successful, and that if some success is realized it will be expanded and made LOTS tougher. Won't save the world, but anything that has a positive effect is much needed.
Agreed. The quoted article went on at great length, but was short on suggestions. The link to driving might motivate kids.

As it is, we offer a free education and support, but kids drop out.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:36 PM
 
1,399 posts, read 3,870,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
It would be nice if the OP could include some personal comment too, a bit more than just an article quote, perhaps something to kick off the discussion.

The full quote does seem to violate the CD TOS, in addition to flaunting copyright laws.

How much of a population do you need to be literate and have a successful economy? How much an illiterate population will be absorbed in jobs that do not require literacy (e.g. hamburger flippers). How much does the state and the populace benefit due to the differential between hamburger flippers and rocket scientists?

Does NM want an industrial economy or a tourism economy? Which would benefit citizens more, and which citizens?
"Burger flippers" are entry level jobs, not careers. The kind of job that teaches a kid to show up for work on time, plan ahead and learn how to manage their own money. Or to tide an older person over until something better comes along. For some developmentally disabled people a burger flipping job may be the high point of their work life, and that's fine, there are programs to train and place the handicapped in suitable and appropriate jobs.
But for a person with relatively normal faculties and education it's a place to start, not finish.
There are few jobs that don't require literacy, and those are disappearing fast. They will always be low pay, low or no benefit jobs. A dead end.
And it's not just jobs...the functionally illiterate have a hard time navigating life successfully on almost any level. It means poverty...and that means greater family instability, greatly increased chances of drug habits and violence (either as a perpetrator or a victim), poorer health/shorter life expectancy...the list goes on an on, and almost all of these things have a significant cost to society. The uneducated are expensive.
One question: why would New Mexico have to choose between industrial jobs and tourism jobs? Are they mutually exclusive? I think not....
Your question seems to imply that a successful tourism industry can function without a literate worker base. If that's what you mean you are completely wrong. Well educated workers are as important to tourism/hospitality as they are to any other industry..whatever "industry" is in your view. What do you mean?
In any case, it's not an either/or issue. But it is a very, very important one.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas NM
203 posts, read 664,334 times
Reputation: 104
Default my bid for curmudgeon rank

"But some 46 percent of adult New Mexicans are "functionally illiterate," Heather Heunermund, executive director of the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, told the New Mexico Independent. That includes the 20 percent of the state’s adults who are the most illiterate, those who have difficulty "locating simple information in a news article or applying basic math to determine the total on a sales receipt," according to the coalition’s Web site. Another 26 percent have some of those basic skills but lack the skills required to perform 64 percent of today’s jobs."

No one can argue NM's need for improvement on the education front... but this report seems a little alarmist. I thought illiteracy meant the inability to read. And the report isn't specific on "functional illiteracy".

I'm pretty sure I lack the skills to perform more than half of today's jobs. Just a guess, but I'd bet 100% of the population lacks the skills to perform more than 50% of current jobs, unless there are a whole lot more physicist/chef/welder/lawyer/bricklayer/teacher/train engineers (etc) out there than I've encountered
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 54,255,095 times
Reputation: 24735
Let's see what this is all about. Until I was introduced to a program named 'Paperclip" on a Commodore 64 I was a functional illiterate. By that I mean writing, let alone typing term papers and longer reports was a giant PIA that tried my, and my readers, patience. My mind does not seem to be able to type, or spell, worth a darn. The thoughts are there but expressing them was a major problem. Once I had a typing system that allowed me to express myself in writing and included a spellchecker (words, not incantations) I have been rather good at the writing and literacy bit.

I have always been able to follow written directions. I learned how to weld from the Lincoln Electric book that came with the first arc welder we ever owned and that was when I was 11 years old. My stepfather also purchased a lathe about that time and a friend showed me the basics and “Machinery’s Handbook” the more complex stuff. I haven’t had to use any of these machine tools in 20 years but I am certain I could regain the skills.

Now how do we convince folks that “book learnin” is as important as learning from the time honored “see and do” methods. The latter teach the skill and the former expand the use of the skill. In my experience people will do what they perceive is good for them. I think a major problem with mass education is a parent that continuously tells a child “You don’t need that that books learnen. I can teach you all you need to be just like me”. Yeah, working for minimal wage at a job as an illiterate laborer facing a future where a Bobcat loader can do the work of a dozen laborers. How does the society show a child that doing the very hard work of learning how to “read, write and cipher” is worth the effort? How do we show a child that it is worth getting crosswise with their parents? How can we show an illiterate parent that it is worth their while to have literate children?

I do know that people will work very hard to obtain what they really desire. How does a society instill that desire?

PS - Environmental scientist, writer, mechanic, welder, machinest, machine builder and designer, cook, driver, blue water sailor, Imperial storm trooper (viet-nam) and a few more are part of my skillset.

Last edited by GregW; 04-29-2008 at 06:27 AM.. Reason: added stuff
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Las Cruces and loving it!
576 posts, read 2,137,297 times
Reputation: 865
Here is a powerful way to state the problem: "One in four New Mexicans cannot read this sentence..."*

If you can find the time, please volunteer with your local literacy council. I spend a couple of hours a week at the Curry County Literacy Council (http://www.clovis.edu/EducationalServices/CSS/cclc.asp - broken link) working with an adult on reading skills, and it is time well spent.

There is a list of literacy contacts in New Mexico at the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy website.

~clairz

*quote from the Curry County Literacy Council website (http://www.clovis.edu/EducationalServices/CSS/cclc.asp - broken link)
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 54,255,095 times
Reputation: 24735
clairz - great suggestion. It applies anywhere in the country.
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