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Adults Crave Literacy Essay

938 words - 4 pages

In today’s world, there are a numerous amount of issues that plague our society. Ones that range from obesity to economic issues. A certain problem that is highly talked about, but left in the dark is the problem of illiteracy. Illiteracy is the lack of the ability to comprehend or make sense of knowledge. A deeper look into America’s adult illiteracy problem reveals what we need to change, how we should change these problems and how we can get ahead of this competitive world race for education.
In a race for the best education system in the world, the US is falling behind. Just by watching the news, we can see how individuals worldwide are making headlines. Whenever we think of the people throughout the world that are the smartest, we automatically think of people from South and East Asia. Other than people around the world, illiteracy hits us hard at home, here in America. Adult illiteracy has been a problem for decades. With our ever changing technological landscape, people are slowly becoming dull, brainless and unintelligent. In one of the most technologically advanced society, there are a stunning 72 million adults between the ages of 18 and 65 that have difficulty with fundamental tasks including reading a simple drug facts label on the back of a bottle of medicine to filling out a job application (Johnson 1). Furthermore, Johnson adds that with this statistic, those 72 million adults could not understand the basic science concepts seen everyday around us. He refers to the most technologically advanced society as America. There are about 2.3 million people joining the pool of functionally illiterate people each year and that there are many reasons for this increase of people every year. (Johnson 6). We could just imagine how bad the problem of adult literacy back then was, compared to what our society has come to now.
Of the 2.3 million people that are joining the pool of functionally illiterate people, about one million of those people are high school dropouts. Many of these individuals are what they call them as “pushouts” (Johnson 2). These pushouts are students that have graduated high school but have not met the requirements of a graduating senior. Their comprehension and reading levels are those of an underclassman. It is estimated that about 15% of high school graduates read at less than a sixth grade level (Kozal 1). Experts have observed that the elementary grades are the most crucial, as the formative stage of a child’s life (Johnson 7). From an earlier psychology class, I have learned that reinforcement of good habits start at a young age. So tightening up the curriculum at the elementary and middle school level will put out kids with hungry minds, willing to explore the...

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