The answer is simple. 3rd grade!
My first book, LESS KILLING, will be published this May. As a preparation for it, I ran the text through the Flesch Kindcaid readability scale. That is the tool that calculates ease of reading and comprehension as it relates to grade level.
My book. 3rd grade!
As a comparison I ran the front page article today from the New York Times, about Hillary Clinton, through the test. The article. College level.
I think that means my book has lots of short words. And short sentences. Oh, and the book has lots of pictures. Maybe it's even lower than 3rd grade! Yay!
Simple writing is good for business. It means less cost for communications and customer satisfaction. Increased readership and reduced liability. And reduced costs for customer support.
That's why Scott Walker made villains of teachers and is gutting the University of Wisconsin Education system. It's good for business.
3rd grade is a formative time. 3rd graders become better and more independent readers. 3rd graders start to develop their own points of view. 3rd graders begin to understand more difficult concepts. Like student debt!
It's easier for Scott Walker to lead people that can't "think" to places they don't really want to go. And, businesses don't have to pay the uneducated as much. I think he believes education should stop at the 3rd grade. It's good for business.
I had a formative experience in 3rd grade. I was on the playground. A boy bigger and year older than me, Steve Oveson, grabbed a red, bouncy ball from a mentally challenged kid. He kicked it over the fence. He was a bully.
The kid started to cry. I went after the ball and brought it back. Steve grabbed it and kicked it over the fence, again. Steve looked at me, laughed and said, "what ya gonna do now?". I stepped forward and popped Steve in the face. I gave him a bloody nose.
The teacher on duty, hauled us both to the office to face Mr. Johnson, the Principal. Steve and I were pathetic. We got chewed out. We got sent home. I cried every step of the eight block walk to my house.
My Mom asked what happened. I explained. She said, "I'm proud of you!"
The next day in my class class. our teacher, Mrs. Giles read some of Gandhi's writings to us. That non-violence is one of the highest virtues. That non-violence is a weapon of strong people. (That, of course, and the virtue of getting your homework done on time.) Then she walked over to my desk and cracked my knuckles with a ruler! Man, it hurt. She stared at me and said, "I hope you remember that!"
I do remember. I have never been in fight since that time. And, I originate work now to reduce violence. Art created violently to reduce violence. Perfect!
I only wish two things. First, that I could pop Scott Walker in the nose. I would get to see Principal Johnson again and Mom would be proud. And second, that Mrs. Giles could crack Walker across the knuckles. He's a bully.
Stick Vega is the American Gunpowder Artist and author of LESS KILLING. He creates explosive pop art and blogs from The Blast Factory in Madison, WI and Bucktown, Chicago, IL. Follow Stick on Facebook and/or Twitter.