Yesterday was the first time I gave back something with a grade to the students. They had two major homework assignments, designed to gauge their reading and summary skills. One section did very poorly. Despite my explaining what an editorial was, where to find them, and how an argument differed from exposition/a regular newspaper article, about half of them gave me regular articles, not editorials. Some of these didn't even get the position of the piece right. The study questions on the story were written in every form of illiterate prose. I was appalled. They looked and sounded (some of them) as if they were written by 4th graders. And I have no reading class to send them to. At least one of these told me he did very well here in Writing 1. I don't know how.
At least three people dropped on the spot, after receiving this assignment back. I tried to be moderate in my comments, but I had to tell them they had work to do, needed to take the class more seriously, etc.