[AAACE-NLA] Reach Higher AMERICA: Overcoming Crisis is the U.S. Workforce
KSmith1 at aol.com
KSmith1 at aol.com
Mon Jun 30 09:52:02 EDT 2008
Congratulations to Gail Spangenberg, Cheryl King, David Perdue and the
National Commission on Adult Literacy on Reach Higher AMERICA: Overcoming Crisis in
the U.S. Workforce. It is an essential report with a critical perspective.
The macro view of our nation's concern for adult literacy and
language ability and capacity must be framed as a workforce and economic development strategy.
We have to get the place where no serious economic development plan can be
considered viable without a strategy for workforce skill development that
includes basic literacy and language enhancement. Driven by the industries most
impacted by the impending labor skill shortages, such as Hospitality,
Manufacturing and Health Care, the adult education agenda may finally get the attention
and resource it desperately needs and deserves.
Clearly, we have fallen short when considering the issue solely as an
education concern. Billions are allocated to PreK - 12 and Higher Education annually
while the best advocacy efforts we can muster barely sustain level funding in
the millions. Education is a system of attrition that supports and rewards
those who progress to the next level; fewer than 20% earn bachelor's degrees.
Adult education addresses those who have fallen out of the system at some
point along the way. The investment made is sadly indicative of the value we
have for them and the importance we hold for improving their literacy and
I do not disagree with NCSDAE's response to the Commission's report.
However, we can always analyze how the current assets addressing the problem may be
utilized and enhanced; this is no time for protecting the status quo. Few are
the chances to raise the status of adult literacy to national prominence and
priority. Seize the day!
Literacy New York, Inc.
777 Maryvale Dr.
Buffalo, New York 14225
e-mail: ksmith1 at aol.com
"The only way to help people is to give them a chance to help themselves."
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