Archive for May, 2012

Reading Test

26 May 2012

Numerous education researchers have concluded that a key element to success in college is reading speed. The numbers vary a bit, but clocking between 325 to 360 words per minute with about 80% comprehension is the minimum for success. Unfortunately, after several years of teaching, I realized most of today’s college students just didn’t have that sort of speed.

My assignments required–or so I thought–nowhere near the time that I’d spent on reading in my day and still I had complaints about reading overload. Finally, I hazarded a brief reading speed test with my students. It was anonymous and simply for my own curiosity and theirs too. I did this for several semesters and was disappointed but not surprised by the results. While I had the occasional student who hit 500 wpm and a few who barely hit 100, most of my students averaged a dismal 160 words a minute. This certainly explained why so many of them complained about the reading load in college.

Curious about your own reading speed? Here’s a link to a nice little reading speed test.

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

If you aren’t happy with your results, hit your favorite search engine and look for tips on improving your reading speed. Learning to read faster isn’t all that difficult. As with most skills, it’s just a combination of technique and practice. I’m living proof. The reading instruction I received in my working class junior high school doubled my reading speed in a year.

Sigh. Those were the days.



News Story: “Typical CEO Made $9.6M Last Year, AP Study Finds”

25 May 2012

“Typical CEO Made $9.6M Last Year, AP Study Finds”

Typical? Even the ones who ran their companies into the ground? Yup. Those too.

Typical is not a word I’d associate with CEOs, much less the loser CEOs.  Would you? 


Financial Animals

19 May 2012

Once again, I bow to Iron Knee of Political Irony. Click the link for a laugh–albeit an ironic one.

Financial Animals.

Great cartoons, right?

But who ever needed Glass-Steagall anyway?


Heartland Institute: Billboard Alarmists

4 May 2012

The conservative Heartland Institute put up this billboard yesterday:

Heartlands Institute billboard--there yesterday, gone today

You can’t make things like this up, folks. You just can’t.

Of course, less than 24 hours later, the billboard’s gone and Heartland is spinning mightily:
“Heartland Institute Ends Experiment with ‘Unabomber’ Global Warming Billboard.

Nice try. But I’m still wondering if this means we don’t get to see versions with Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro.

I’d go on, but Leo Hickman has already put up a good discussion of all this on a Guardian environmental blog.


Special Interest Quiz

2 May 2012

What do police unions, private prison corporations, beer and alcohol companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and prison guard unions have in common?

This article has the answer:  “The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying to —- ——— ————.”

Guess before you click.