Friday, July 08, 2005

Fourth Literacy

The nice folks at "It's all good" alerted me to this move by ETS. It is called Fourth Literacy. Librarians have been talking about this for years. What is scary is the stats which the ETS folks cite about web usage. It shows that the Digital Divide is still around [Scroll down the page to the indents....someday I'll be good enough to paste a more exact link]. Based on the public computer usage here, it is true!


  1. I saw this story last weekend. While it's great that someone, besides the library community, is acknowledging the need/problem, I'm a bit skeptical about yet another standardized test.

  2. I also worry about whether ETS is really the right person/organization to come up with these results. It reminds me of the flyers at ALA where a study partly sponsored by the Gates Foundation told us that libraries were now suitably wired [hurray for us!] but still weren't getting the tech support they needed [an opportunity for us!] which just seemed to be a softball intro for their new round of funding.

    I worked for ETS scoring essays for a while and while this is neither here nor there it was one of the most dehumanizing jobs I've had that actually required -- or at least valued -- an advanced degree. At the same time, they were working really hard to develop software that would read the SAT/GRE essays so they wouldn't have to hire people at all.

    ETS is supposed to be about evaluating merit, but more and more, thanks to No Child Left Behind, they are in the positon of actually determining what merit IS, which makes me somewhat nervous.


  3. Standardized tests are not the answer. I don't care what the question is. Neither is No Child Left Behind. That may be another rant for another day! Thanks for finding me!