I work for a college, it'll remain unnamed. In the office where I work our students are primarily adults. We offer different degree options, and full-time status so that our students qualify for financial aid. On top of my normal office duties, I also tutor students in writing.
I attended a traditional (private) four-year instutition in New York State. I have a BA and I consider myself pretty intelligent. I could probably teach some social studies courses and have a healthy experience teaching high school, if I so desired.
I'm attending graduate school to get my Master's in Educational Leadership, I want to work with college students, specifically (eventually) adult students at a traditional 4-year institution.
Through these experiences I am always amazed at the lack of reading and writing comprhension. Even at the Master-level, students do not read or comprehend the reading. They do not engage with the reading. They have no questions or comments about the reading. It's sad. The students I work with have no idea how to form an academic argument or even write the traditional 5-paragraph essays.
Here on the boards I'm amazed at what is considered fact and reliable. It's not that there are "bad" sources out there (well, there are, but pretend for a moment there aren't any) but what we use to back up our arguments here on the internet (all over the internet) would never be accepted academically. They wouldn't be accepted in the high school curriculum in NYS. But, my main point is, here on the internet are "real" people, those that actually exist in this world without the help of an academic sitting on their shoulder. It amazes me how our education system has failed so many people.
Here's an article that really sums up my feelings, and frustrations, as a student and educational leader (you may or may not be able to read the whole thing, I'm at work so I'm not sure what's private on the site). http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/06/2009063001c.htm (and I realize this post might make me sound high-and-mighty, but it's really just about observations I've had through my experiences)