Illiteracy In America Essay

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The Critical Problem of Illiteracy in the U.S. and Solutions to the Problem

Frederick Douglass once said, “Once you learn to read, you will forever be free” (Cardoza, 2013). Millions of U.S. adults do not possess basic reading and writing skills, and may be deemed “illiterate” or “functionally illiterate”. “Illiterate” means unable to read or write at all and “functionally illiterate” means that one does not possess sufficient reading and writing skills to function successfully in today’s society (Conover, 2009). Those who are illiterate and functionally illiterate are unable to perform tasks as simple as reading a bus schedule or writing a check (Conover, 2009). Not knowing how to read could cause a person stress, embarrassment, or even loss of a job. Adult illiteracy is a critical problem in the United States that can be solved through education, innovation, and dedication.
The History of Illiteracy Illiteracy is not simply a problem that affects the United States today, it has been a problem since the creation of the country. When the
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While not all of the aforementioned tasks would be considered absolutely “basic”, such as calculating the cost of carpeting a room, the problem still exists: millions of Americans cannot perform many simple tasks to function in everyday life. 1996 reports showed that 27 million U.S. adults were in need of help with their literacy skills (Chaddock, 1998). However, 1998 reports showed that “more than 40 million American adults can barely locate the time or place of a meeting on a form”, a number that is much lower than the one reported in 1993 (Chaddock, 1998). Chaddock also reported that American businesses lose nearly $60 billion yearly due to workers lacking literacy skills
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