ERIC Number: ED372278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
What Kind of Adult Literacy Policy Do We Need If We Are Serious about Enabling Every Adult To Become a High Skills/High Wage Worker in the Global Economy?
National Inst. for Literacy, Washington, DC.
The current pressure to look seriously at the connection between the economy and the educational and occupational skills of adults is being driven by changes in both economic conditions and the makeup of the U.S. labor force. Manufacturing has declined, taking with it low-skill, high-wage jobs, and the work force has more immigrants, women, and older workers than before. The income and standard of living for low-skilled workers has been declining, and with workers changing jobs more frequently, those with lower levels of literacy have longer levels of unemployment. Nearly half of all adults scored in the lowest two of five literacy levels in the National Adult Literacy Survey; those in the lowest literacy levels also received the lowest wages and were unemployed the most. The educational and training challenge facing the nation is how to prepare people with low levels of skills not just for jobs but for jobs that will let them achieve and maintain a higher standard of living and upward mobility. To do so will require answers to questions that can now be framed, such as the following: What should the goals of adult literacy and basic skills programs be for adults preparing to enter the work force, for those already working, and for dislocated workers seeking new jobs? What performance standards should be developed for the literacy and basic skills components of work force and workplace education programs in order to provide direction and a basis for monitoring quality and effectiveness? What is known about effective practices for work force education programs? What should be the mix of targeting and resources in work force and workplace education? and What are the policy and legislative implications of these recommendations. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Dislocated Workers, Education Work Relationship, Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Employment Level, Employment Patterns, Employment Projections, Employment Qualifications, Labor Force Development, Labor Market, Labor Needs, Skill Obsolescence, Unemployment, Workplace Literacy
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Inst. for Literacy, Washington, DC.