ERIC Number: ED367801
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
NALS Raises Vital Equity Issues.
NCAL Connections, p1,7-8 Feb 1994
The National Adult LIteracy Survey was a nationwide survey of a random sample of approximately 26,000 adults. The survey collected information about individuals' social, economic, and educational histories and their literacy activities. Their functional literacy was also assessed using simulated functional or real-world tasks designed to determine the ability to process information in prose, document, and quantitative tasks. Findings included the following: (1) nearly half of those surveyed were found to perform at the two lowest levels of reading proficiency; (2) literacy proficiencies were found to be closely correlated to such indicators as wages, earnings, and poverty status; (3) 75-80% of Black adults were at the two lowest levels, compared to 38-43% of White adults; (4) at constant levels of education, Whites earn significantly more than Blacks; and (5) after taking educational attainment into account, wages and earnings are positively related to functional literacy. In other words, the study concluded that there is no difference between Blacks and Whites when both education and literacy are equated. Findings suggest the importance of the following: a broadened approach to educational equity, especially functional literacy; access to literacy learning in all contexts; and incorporation of these concerns into the new standards movement. (SK)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers: National Adult Literacy Survey (NCES)