This is a short comment on the above from reader Alasdair MacDonald which I think needs greater prominence so I’ve posted it as a ‘special’.
‘Of course the BBC Scotland continues to plug the failing Scotland line with a report about the literacy levels of 16 year olds. This was wilfully misinterpreted. The report actually asked 16 year olds what kind of fiction they chose to read for personal reasons. Some of the books chosen were rated as being able to be read by 13 year olds. Now, of course, we are all pretty eclectic in our reading choices – I do not always choose books that have reading levels suitable for 70 year-olds. Where the wilful mispresentation came was in shouting that this showed ‘Scottish 16 year-olds have the literacy levels of 13 year-olds’. NAW IT DISNAE!! The research was carried out by a private company, by a Professor at Dundee U. He and an author who works in Scottish schools regularly debated the issue and she spiritedly refuted his arguments. She was also backed up by vox pops of a number of 16 year-olds who were asked about what they read. I felt that the Professor did not argue his case well, but made sweeping generalities.’