Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Losing Our Literacy

In the Educational Testing Service's latest report, America's PerfectStorm, there's concern that U.S. literacy woes are a crisis-in-the-making.

Reading proficiency should be a high priority on all lists because it can be a limiting factor for who can thrive in a job that requires flexibility and independent learning (auto-didact)in a changeable workplace.

The NEA's Report also paints a dismal picture. Fewer people are reading literature than ever before...at all educational groups, even with college- and graduate school-educated parents.

From the NEA's Reading at Risk Report and NEA Chairman Dana Gioia: "(Our) report documents a national crisis," Gioia said. "Reading develops a capacity for focused attention and imaginative growth that enriches both private and public life. The decline in reading among every segment of the adult population reflects a general collapse in advanced literacy. To lose this human capacity - and all the diverse benefits it fosters - impoverishes both cultural and civic life."

While all demographic groups showed declines in literary reading between 1982 and 2002, the survey shows some are dropping more rapidly than others. The overall rate of decline has accelerated from 5 to 14 percent since 1992." Yikes.

CSM: A Less Literate Workforce
Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline - Reading at Risk Study

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