UNC: Report Discredits Willingham Findings

Apr 11, 2014

Credit Dave DeWitt

An independent review is discrediting the findings of a whistleblower at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mary Willingham is an academic advisor at UNC-Chapel Hill who first blew the whistle on no-show classes two years ago. More recently she claimed that one-fourth of all Carolina athletes were reading at our below a fourth-grade level.

UNC-Chapel Hill officials disputed the methods she used in making that assertion. The school hired three professors at other institutions to review Willingham’s data.

In a report released this afternoon the outside educators say the 25-question multiple choice vocabulary test Willingham used is not a true reading test, adding that a correlation between results on that test and grade-level reading are not sound conclusions.

Willingham has said called her work a "descriptive analysis." She says the majority of football and men’s basketball are not accurately assessed and has called the degrees they receive worthless.

Willingham has called on Carolina to offer remedial courses for athletes who are not prepared for entry level classes.