ERIC Number: ED325628
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Looking at America's Literacy Skills. Executive Summary.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Despite national demands to improve the weak literacy skills of young adults, educators and policymakers lack the diverse types of data needed to make changes. The report, "Workplace Competencies: The Need to Improve Literacy and Employment Readiness," points out that past measures of literacy have lacked comparability, resulting in no accurate way to determine if Americans today are more or less literate than they were 20 years ago. Because of the complexity of society, literacy assessments should take into account that different life and workplace tasks require varying levels of competency. The 1986 National Assessment of Educational Progress found that most young adults can read, but a large percentage cannot solve problems presented to them in formats simulating real-life situations. Focus should be on the skills workers need today and not on uncertain projections of future job-market demands. The findings have these implications for policymakers: (1) the most pressing literacy problem is the large number of adults who can read but lack information processing skills; (2) tests are needed that assess real-life literacy skills; (3) schools must develop student proficiency in real-life tasks; and (4) better measures are needed to evaluate the nation's literacy progress. (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Note: For the full report, "Workplace Competencies: The Need to Improve Literacy and Employment Readiness," see ED 317 873.