A long-awaited federal study finds that an estimated 32 million adults in the USA — about one in seven — are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children's picture book or to understand a medication's side effects listed on a pill bottle.Well, good to know we spent $1.2 trillion to find that out!
How low? It would be a challenge to read this newspaper article or deconstruct a fuel bill.
"They really cannot read … paragraphs (or) sentences that are connected," says Sheida White, a researcher at the U.S. Education Department.
But all is not bleak!
In many cases, states made sizable gains. In Mississippi, the percentage of adults with low skills dropped 9 percentage points, from 25% to 16%. In every one of its 82 counties, low-skill rates dropped — in a few cases by 20 percentage points or more.Still, there's more bad news:
By contrast, in several large states — California, New York, Florida and Nevada, for instance — the number of adults with low skills rose.Why, you might ask did Mississippi improve so remarkably? Need you even ask?
David Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy, an adult-literacy organization, says Mississippi "invested more in education … and they have done innovative programming. We need much more of that."We need more money! MUCH more money!
I swear, it's the only play in the playbook. WE NEED TO SPEND MORE (of other people's) MONEY!