Literacy in America

Topics: Democracy, United States, Literacy Pages: 4 (1054 words) Published: September 27, 2012
Jeslyn Camacho
ENC 1101
Illiteracy in America

America, the most technologically advanced and affluent of all nations on the earth, seems to have an increasingly larger illiteracy rate every year. This has become and continues to be a critical problem throughout our society as we know it.   According to the National Adult Literacy survey, 42 million adult Americans can't read; 50 million are limited to a 4th or 5th grade reading level; one in every four teenagers drops out of high school, and of the students who graduate, one in every four has around an 8th grade education. Why? You ask. This problem will never fix itself and will take quite a bit of time to overcome. We need to make sure that everyone is aware of the social problems, poverty and lack of family interaction that occurs everyday in many, if not all, communities throughout America.

“Nearly a billion people, two-thirds of them women, will enter this world unable to read a book or write their names," warns UNICEF in a new report, "The State of the World's Children 1999." UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, points out that the illiterate "live in more desperate poverty and poorer health" than those who can read and write.(Boaz).

The most important factor that contributes to the outrageous statistics of illiteracy is that of poverty. Poverty is an issue that more and more of our nation's children are coming face to face with and the price they must pay is unbelievably high. Poverty is considered a major at-risk factor (Leroy 2001). The term at-risk refers to children who are likely to fail whether it

be at school or life in general because of their life's social circumstances. Some of the factors that may place these children at-risk are: dangerous neighborhoods; young, uneducated parents; unemployment; and inadequate educational experiences. Teachers need to be aware of the circumstances that their students face and be able and ready to help these...

References: Boaz, David. "Illiteracy -- The Bad News and the Good." Cato Institute. 20 Jan. 1999.
Kim, J. K. "NRRF - Illiteracy: An Incurable Disease or Education Malpractice?"
Kozol, Jonathan, Illiteracy: The Enduring Problem.".
Leroy. "The Effects of Poverty on Teaching and Learning." 2001
Surowiecki, James. "The Dangers of Financial Illiteracy in America." The New Yorker.
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