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ERIC Number: ED276820
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Illiteracy in America. Extent, Causes, and Suggested Solutions.
Smith, Patricia H.; And Others
This report examines reasons for the varying estimates of illiteracy in the United States. It discusses why the agency charged with transmitting literacy, the public school system, has not satisfactorily accomplished this task and recommends improvements to reduce and eradicate illiteracy. Part 1 focuses on the confusion about the extent of illiteracy because of varying definitions of literacy. The relationship between literacy and the economy is discussed in light of business and industrial needs for and concern over the lack of a literate work force. Other factors affecting estimates of illiteracy are highlighted. Part 2 considers causation by examining how each of the various elements woven into the fabric of education contribute to the decline in literacy. The discussion centers on an examination of the changes resulting from three important shifts in American culture and education: a philosophical shift from traditional to progressive, a societal shift from traditional to permissive, and a governance shift from local to state and federal and from lay to professional. The issue of holding schools responsible is addressed. Part 3 offers recommendations for prevention of the problem with accompanying explanations. These are made in response to the three shifts discussed in section 2. A conclusion summarizes stated and implied recommendations. A list of 288 references is included. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Educational Change, Educational Development, Educational Responsibility, Illiteracy, Influences, Literacy, Literacy Education, Public Schools, School Responsibility
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Department 36-UH, Washington, DC 20402-9325 ($4.75).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Advisory Council on Adult Education, Washington, DC.