Despite the numerous charts, graphs and tables in To Read or Not to Read, a careful and responsible reading of the complete data provided by the NAEP and the NAAL undermine the conclusions the NEA draws. Two examples of problematic uses of primary data sets will illustrate the issues.
I’m glad Kaplan did the careful read. Her analysis confirms the impression I had based on a quick read that the conclusions reflected more bias than they should. The report assumes the primacy of text as a medium of communication.
ps: See also Ben Vershbow’s earlier comment.
Though clearly offered with the best of intentions, the report demonstrates an astonishingly simplistic view of what reading is and where it is and isn’t occurring. Overflowing with bar graphs and and charts measuring hours and minutes spent reading within various age brackets, the study tries to let statistics do the persuading, but fails at almost every turn to put these numbers in their proper social or historical context, or to measure them adequately against other widespread forms of reading taking place on computers and the net.