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ERIC Number: ED188117
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
National Literacy Commissions and Functional Literacy: A Status Report.
Mikulecky, Larry; Diehl, William
A response to United States Senator George McGovern's call for congressional legislation to establish an independent national commission on literacy is necessary. Two considerations that must be taken into account by any individual, group, or commission addressing issues of criteria for competency in literacy are: (1) literacy competence is a relationship between the specific demands of a situation and the variety of literacy and nonliteracy strategies available to any individual; and (2) a tendency exists to confuse the symbolic attributes of literacy with actual literacy demands. Side issues that must be understood include the fact that trends from the SAT tests are not relative to basic literacy, there is not comparable educational data from many other nations, and available research does not support the fact of a decline in basic skills. Other issues that must be explored include the difference between functional illiteracy and functional competency and the possibility that illiteracy is merely one aspect of a larger problem of poverty or discrimination. If a national literacy commission is to be instituted the project must be clearly conceived. Literacy should be viewed as a relationship between demand and ability and the focus should be on how well individuals are performing their jobs and life-tasks, and the extent to which literacy ability influences performance must be determined. (MKM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A