Half of adult US population at eighth grade reading level or below???!!!

I was reading an article on car seats and it was determined that too many people were improperly installing them because the instructions were written at a 10th grade level. 25% are below 5th grade level. My question is how much of that figure is an education system gone drastically AWOL and how much is that figure altered by the inclusion of large numbers of recent immigrants who simply havnt had sufficient time for the education system to have done its work properly, adult mental retardation and other such statistical variables ?

Sorry preview should be my friend. The figures to be more clear were: approx 25% of US adults had reading comp level of the 5th grade or below. Another 25% were at the 8th grade or below.

Tat no b rite. I tink evebodie reeds at at at lest coledge levl.

What does ‘an eighth grade reading level’ mean, anyways? Reading is reading. If you know the sounds that the letters make, you can sound out the words (although with some words, if you’ve never heard them spoken before, you might get them wrong the first time).

Does it mean reading comprehension, the ability to assimilate a complicated idea into your mind after having it expressed to you in written words? I’d think that would be an inherent quality of individual brains more than an indicator of education.

Does it mean vocabulary? Too many big words? Calling that a ‘reading’ problem is misleading-- being able to read a word is one thing, but knowing the meaning of it is another.

If it’s that last one, I’d suspect that the prevalence of ‘reading levels’ in school might actually be to blame. There comes an age when educators should probably stop trying to ‘protect’ kids from big words, and give them real books to read instead of readers specially tailored for their ‘reading level’. And teach them to use dictionaries so that they can improve their vocabularies on their own.

I think it was George Carlin who said “You wouldn’t believe how stupid the average person is. But what’s worse is, half the people are even dumber than that!”

I worked for a company that did aircraft maintenance contracting for the U.S. Government. In the requests for proposals, they ASKED us to write it to 8th grade level. Utterly pathetic.

Well isn’t an eighth-grade reading level considered pretty decent? I know I was reading very well by the eighth grade, and I was never an exemplary student…

Crafter…thats the skill level of a 13 year old. You want to stop your development in ANYTHING at the ripe old age of 13?

My seven-year-old son tests out at a fifth-grade reading level. It genuinely frightens me that 25% of adults read no better than he does. If it’s true, that is-I really do find it difficult to believe. How do these people function in society? Scary.

Just for fun, I copied your post and ran it through MS Word’s grammar checker to get the grade level. It tells me that you wrote this at almost a 9th-grade level. I expect that scores like that are what’s used to determine the reading level. How that’s calculated, I have no idea.

FYI, it assigned the OP a 12th-grade level. And this post got a 4th-grade level.

Well, no. I’m just saying that an eighth-grade reading level may not be that bad, all things considered. Heck, a couple centuries ago is was difficult to find anyone who could read…

That’s unpossible!

</Homer J. Simpson>

Here is the Fry Test for determining the “grade level” of reading material. It’s just a matter of the average number of syllables per sentence.

Good advice, whuckfistle. Just remember to turn the lights off before you try to start the car.

Oops, wrong thread! :smack:

Here is a sample quick assessment test of eighth grade reading ability.

“Reading Level” incorporates many factors, including vocabulary, comprehension, speed and grammar. It makes no difference if you can sound out a word. When my son was 6 years old he could sound out almost any word put in front of him. That did not mean he understood what he read.

Just because instructions for installing carseats may be written on a 10th grade level does not mean that the instructions are clearly written, complete, or even comprehensible.

Does this mean i have grounds to sue my College for a refund? But on the bright side looks like ill be able to read car seat instructions :slight_smile:

I’m a tenth grader. Some of the tenth graders in my non-advanced classes (stuff like health) can barely read at all! Our health teacher called on people in our class to read an article out loud, and some people could barely manage it! They were reading below the level that I was at in fifth grade (note: This was a higher level than the average fifth grader- I was reading stuff by Charles Dickens, soon followed by Shakespeare- but still!) How can a highs chool student not be able to recognize basic words?

I read the same article… And sadly I’m not surprised.