Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Effects of Not Reading on Society

From a discussion I was recently having concerning literacy… is some of the data I choose to share.
As you can see Literacy in America is a problem…and there is a lot out there which validates this.
Funny, the CIA lists American Literacy at 99%...perhaps they only asked people working inside a small office..
Here you go..enjoy all of this data….and if not..try help someone learn to read.
This is a link which describes the following

Illiteracy Statistics

  • 42 million American adults can't read at all; 50 million are unable to read at a higher level that is expected of a fourth or fifth grader.
  • The number of adults that are classified as functionally illiterate increases by about 2.25 million each year.
  • 20 percent of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.
    Source: National Right to Read Foundation

Where Illiteracy Leads

  • 70 percent of prisoners in state and federal systems can be classified as illiterate.
  • 85 percent of all juvenile offenders rate as functionally or marginally illiterate.
  • 43 percent of those whose literacy skills are lowest live in poverty.
    Source: National Institute for Literacy
More Referenced information:

Illiteracy: The Downfall of American Society - It is a chronic crisis of huge proportions, one that keeps millions of Americans living in the shadows. Illiteracy is causing irreparable damage to our society. Just look at these disturbing illiteracy statistics.

Illiteracy Statistics -In a study of 20 'high income' countries, the US ranked 12th on literacy tests. Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their child. A few other shocking facts:

  • 7 million Americans are illiterate.
  • 50 percent of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level.
  • 20 percent of Americans are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level.
  • 30 million Americans cannot read a simple sentence.

How Illiteracy Affects Job Prospects

  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare cannot read.
  • 75 percent of today's jobs require at least a ninth-grade reading level.
  • 27 million are unable to read well enough to complete a job application.
  • 20 percent of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage.
  • 50 percent of the unemployed people who fall between the ages of 16 and 21 cannot read well enough to be considered functionally literate.
  • Between 46 and 51 percent of American adults have an income well below the individual threshold poverty level because of their inability to read.
  • Of the Gross National Product, only 5.3 percent is spent on public education. 

How Illiteracy Affects Society

  • 3 out of 5 people in an American prison cannot read.
  • Low literacy is strongly related to crime. 70 percent of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency.
  • 85 percent of juvenile offenders have problems reading.
  • Approximately 50 percent of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as balancing a checkbook and reading prescription drug labels.
  • To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests.

How Illiteracy Costs Taxpayers

  • Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year.
  • Illiteracy has been proven to cause children to drop out of school. Dropouts cost our nation $240 billion in social service expenditures and lost tax revenues.
Statistics for this article were obtained from the following sources: National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau.
A link with references showing some interesting statistics concerning what people do with their time

Have a good summer teaching someone to read….and or learning to read better.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Even in Salt Lake they Question Merit Pay

This is copied from the Salt Lake Tribune

Call to account

Merit pay, basing a percentage of a teacher's salary on student performance on standardized test scores, is a concept being explored by our Legislature. If this is the strategy we are going to employ to "improve" student achievement, then we need to apply it not only to teachers, but also to the other major stakeholders in public education, including parents, students and the Legislature. After all, student achievement is a team effort.
A child's educational success is directly tied to parental involvement. Therefore, we propose that in order to "merit" the tax exemption for your child, your child must have achieved grade level on standardized tests. As with teachers, physical, mental, language or socio-economic factors will not be considered. If your student is below standard, then you suffer the financial consequences of the lost exemption and the state benefits from your higher taxes. Some form of financial "punishment" must also be found for students and legislators who don't measure up to the "merit" standard.
If we are to hold teachers accountable with "merit" pay, then we need to hold all stakeholders accountable with "merit" pay.

A Historical view of Change

The idea of human rights as a topic has a different mindset for all people who hear it. The people within the United States often believe that every idea they hold true is held within the constitution. Although this idea does not hold true, it is an important aspect, since the general population also believes that the idea of being democratic is outlined within this same constitution. The ending result is that the founders of America, after the Revolutionary war, wrote a document that can change over time, and allows for a lifestyle that was defined by leadership. Learned people within the United States have been talking about the lack of progress made, or how the founding fathers would be rolling over in their grave if they were to awaken to the world we live in today. Perhaps the learned people that are working so hard to invalidate the founding fathers could begin to view the American system through a systemic lens.

Over the past two hundred and fifty years, the United States has been growing through its own metamorphosis. The law of the land began in this country through the lens of the English Capitalists. Other countries arrived before and after the English, yet at the time, the English were the world and so the Colonies struggled as English. As time moves forward, we, as people, are shown that the human population enhances itself. As this enhancement occurs, so does decision making and the consideration of people around us. When stagnation occurs, people tend to desire change. When aspects of inhumane activity occur, the people who are shown that this activity is occurring may desire to create change. These people are the modern day humanitarians.

For the rest of this paper, please email me for a request: