The level of debate in this country

Andres Fonseca:

There’s a lot to unpack. Grade levels haven’t strictly decreased: 2008 saw a level of debate not seen in 20 years. The decline isn’t recent: there is a drastic difference between pre- and post- Reagan debates. Only 8 (of 33) debates saw a republican speak at a higher grade level than their opponent. The highest score went to a peanut farmer and Naval Academy graduate, the lowest to a billionaire and Wharton School graduate.


Perhaps it’s been a while since you were in the grade levels reached by these transcripts and aren’t sure what Donald Trump’s 3.69 or Joe Biden’s 4.51 should remind you of. Think “Charlotte’s Web”(3.44) and “The Outsiders” (4.25). When you see Jimmy Carter’s 12.4, think “A Brief History Of Time” (11.88). When you see that half of all debate performances are below 7.8, think “To Kill A Mockingbird” (8.01).

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration