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ERIC Number: ED507600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
High School Literacy: A Quick Stats Fact Sheet
Rutenberg, David
National High School Center
From helping to achieve economic well-being to constructing a sense of self, literacy plays a central role in how people interact with each other and with the world around them (Phelps, 2005). The importance of being literate has only increased over the decades and stands to become even more important in the future. Fifty years ago, an abundance of manufacturing and other well-paying jobs for those with low levels of literacy allowed them to maintain a middle-class lifestyle (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004). However, the American economy has seen the flight of these low-skilled and well-paying jobs to other countries, with a simultaneous growth of service sector jobs requiring high levels of literacy from employees (National Center on Education and the Economy, 2007). These jobs require employees to integrate new information with the old, critique opinions, understand context, and synthesize new ideas--all high-order thinking skills facilitated by being fully literate. Unfortunately, the American high school is failing large proportions of its students, leaving them ill-equipped to compete in this new economy. The statistics provided herein paint a portrait of some of the challenges high school students encounter in obtaining high levels of literacy. (Contains 1 footnote.)
National High School Center. American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 800-634-0503; Fax: 202-403-5875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National High School Center