The surprisingly weak quantitative literacy ability of many college graduates is troubling. A knowledgeable workforce is vital to cope with the increasing demands of the global marketplace.

The only thing they can do is very rudimentary tasks like finding a point on a map.

The research team was surprised to find out more than 50 percent of four-year students were not in the proficient category and 75 percent of the two-year students were not. The proficient category does involve some of the more complex literacy tasks, but some that we would expect them to do.

Even though we still have a lot of areas where they're not doing well in college literacy, at least they're not doing worse than their parents and grandparents.

Colleges are basically first and foremost businesses. They're not in the business of holding people back because they don't have a certain set of skills. ... I think that now that the data is out there, I would hope colleges maybe offer more remedial classes that try to fill in those gaps.