I hate to think how many students could have been educated today for what it cost to send out the latest hysterical press release from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
There are two media contact names under the beaming headline “Literacy levels of Kentucky adults increased since 1992, study says.” But the big bucks came from CPE President Robert King who took time out from earning his $352,000 annual salary to read the “study,” assess it, and say:
“This is a very favorable finding that confirms the progress of Kentucky’s efforts. However, much work remains to be done.”
First thing, this “study” confirms nothing.
The National Center for Education Statistics surveyed 19,000 adults back in 1992 and determined that “Kentucky” had a 19% illiteracy rate and then called 19,000 more in 2003 and found that the rate had fallen to 12%. That’s the big news.
I mean, what do think the margin of error is on this survey? Seven percent maybe? And if they divided up the 19,000 people evenly across the country — which they didn’t — that would mean they talked to 380 Kentuckians 17 years ago and then did it again six years ago. How does anyone pull real meaning out of this?
And we’re supposed to extrapolate from that now that Kentucky’s KERA progress has been confirmed? The fact that they send this junk out with a straight face is only slightly less maddening than the fact the mainstream media will run with the story.