ERIC Number: ED358375
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Literacy in America: A First Look at the Results of the National Adult Literacy Survey.
Kirsch, Irwin S.; And Others
The National Adult Literacy Survey profiled the literacy of U.S. adults based on their performance on tasks reflecting materials and demands of daily life. Data were gathered through interviews with a random sample of 13,600 people over 16, a survey of 1,000 adults in each of 12 states, and interviews with 1,100 prison inmates, making a total of 26,000 adults surveyed. Participants completed a series of literacy tasks and received proficiency scores on three scales measuring prose, document, and quantitative literacy. They were categorized in five levels. Major findings were as follows: (1) 40-44 million adults were at the lowest level, of whom 25% were immigrants, 62% did not complete high school, and 19% had visual difficulties; (2) 50 million at level 2 had difficulty with higher reading and problem-solving skills; (3) most at levels 1-2 rated their reading/writing as well or very well--they could meet most needs with limited skills; (4) 61 million were at level 3, 34-40 million at levels 4-5; (5) young adults were less proficient than those surveyed in 1985; (6) older adults were more likely to have limited skills; (7) many minorities and prison inmates were more likely to be at levels 1-2, due to fewer years of schooling or limited English proficiency; (8) higher levels correlated with being employed, working more weeks, and having higher wages; and (9) 41-44% of level 1 and 4-8% of levels 4-5 were in poverty. (Appendices include definitions and 31 data tables. Document includes 13 other tables and 26 figures.) (SK)
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Adults, Basic Skills, Educational Assessment, Educational Attainment, Educational Status Comparison, Minority Groups, National Surveys, Numeracy, Prisoners, Reading Habits, Salary Wage Differentials, Socioeconomic Status, Young Adults
U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Washington, DC 20402 (Stock No. 065-000-00588-3).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
IES Cited: ED435841; ED451383; ED450252; ED377325