A Sad Note

John Krygier jbkrygie at owu.edu
Fri Sep 24 09:46:45 EDT 2004

forward: orig. message included HTML code (too long for list) - admin

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Matthew Lawrence" <mattlawrence at youngthagard.com>
> To: <modlib at algol.owu.edu>
> Subject: RE: A Sad Note
> Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 09:08:44 -0400
> Hello All,
> It has been a while since I have posted on this forum.  The discussion 
> about
> literacy is interesting and thought provoking.  Although I don't have
> evidence to support this opinion, I think it is likely that rudimentary
> literacy is about the same now as it was in the Federal period.  I 
> know that
> literacy rates in the colonies tended to be higher than in Europe but 
> mainly
> because of the Protestant emphasis on scripture reading for oneself.  
> I also
> suspect that readers of literature (what we would agree as being part 
> of the
> canon as opposed to popular fiction) probably existed in the same 
> percentage
> as they do today.  Finally, I also suspect that increased 
> secularization of
> modern society, coupled with "easier"  entertainment options, have 
> tended to
> dumb down what we consider to be basic literacy.  Just compare what 
> eighth
> graders were expected to know and understand 100 years ago as opposed 
> to
> now.  But schooling was not universal so it may be true that as a
> percentage, literacy rates have not changed that much.
> The county school system here where I live has entered a controversy 
> because
> some parents, led by their minister, are objecting to the teaching of 
> The
> Bean Trees and The Bluest Eye to AP senior English students because of 
> their
> "lewd and pornographic" content.  Neither of the books was required 
> (one
> could always choose an option).  Yeehaw.
> Matthew R. Lawrence
> Young, Thagard, Hoffman, Smith & Lawrence, L.L.P.
> P.O. Box 3007
> Valdosta, Georgia  31604-3007
> 229-242-2520
> www.youngthagard.com

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