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Literacy Rate - How Many Are Illiterate

The literacy rate in the US has many educators in search of answers about this problem that has plagued our country for decades. Instead of decreasing, the numbers of literacy has steadily increased over the years. This raises a lot of questions about our education system, how it is ran, and why there is such a problem with illiterate people in our country.

The NAAL (National Assessment of Adult Literacy) administered tests which revealed that an estimated 14% of US residents would have extreme difficulty with reading and written comprehension. These people can legally be defined as illiterate. This could lead to numerous problems for these people now and in the future. When looking to apply for a job, there are forms that have to be filled out. Adults with literacy issues are unable to fill out these forms which decrease their chances of getting a job and raises unemployment issues.

According to international charts has a literacy rate of 21.8%. Education completion among males and females is drastically low. There are six years of primary level education and seven years of secondary level education offered. The United States requires six years of primary level education and seven years of secondary level education.

Greenland has fallen in the number one spot for literacy rates which is defined as anyone over the age of fifteen years old that can read and write. Both males and females have are at 100% literacy. In the US, adults with a high level of literacy are at 19%, a low level of literacy are at 49.6% and a moderate level of literacy at 31.4%. That difference in literacy rates are outstanding.

When compared with international figures, out of 205 rated countries, the US falls into the 27th slot of 205. While this isn't a dangerous place to be in, we need to research what it is countries such as Greenland, Luxembourg and Norway are doing differently. Perhaps there is something within our school system that we can alter to better accommodate students with literacy problems and prevent future issues.

Literacy issues affect daily life. Those who are illiterate face problems, not only in the workforce but at home as well. How can anyone with a low literacy rate complete daily tasks such as writing a letter, filling out forms, helping their child with homework and so on. The issue of literacy rates is a concerning one. With the proper research and adjustments we can better these rates from what they are now and educate our students further to prevent adult literacy problems.

If we fail to fix the literacy problems that we face today it may one day become a crisis issue. All one has to do is look at the facts and figures to figure out that there is a phenomenal difference internationally between countries and their literacy rates. Low levels of literacy result in people being uninformed or misinformed about certain issues. This can lead the way to crime, mis-education, and the failure to live life properly. For example, it has been stressed over the years that parents should read to their child. How can a parent do something like that if they are unable to read more than a few short sentences?

No matter what the circumstances behind the issues of literacy, we need to take a step back and analyze our options and move forward from there. Children of today are the future for tomorrow and we need to do all that we can to make sure that those children graduate from school able to read at a moderate to high literary level. Their comprehension is important and testing needs to be done in order to assure that they are where they need to be before moving ahead and graduation out of the school system. These are steps that will help our students not only avoid the disadvantage of being illiterate for the well being of their own future, but also that of our entire country and how competitive we can stay in the global economy.