NLA Discussion: Advocates' talk
JOLEARY at adc.state.az.us
Tue Mar 30 18:51:12 EST 1999
GEORGE E. DEMETRION <gdemetrion at juno.com> 03/29 10:30 PM writes:
<<"adult literacy education is an extremely marginal issue in the body
politic and civic consciousness of the USA
functional "illiteracy" may very well be "functional" from the
structural perspective of maintaining the status quo--or at least it
doesn't impair it significantly>>
Doesn't the second point explain the first point? In an earlier post to
this list, Jack Fenimore stated:
"According to Nation's Business, fifteen million members of this
country's work force are functionally illiterate. They can't read or
understand warning signs, labels, maintenance books, shipping instructions,
or memos. This costs American businesses an estimated 20 billion dollars
annually due to mistakes, lost pro- ductivity, workplace accidents, and
damage to equipment."
If this is true why isn't there more pressure from the business community
to improve literacy? Is it that what they gain (i.e., paying lower
salaries) from employing people with lower education levels offsets the
costs? What would happen to the "status quo" if the workforce becomes
better educated? As it is, what incentive do people have to improve their
education level when they can get a job without a degree? I have a 16
year old nephew who is not concerned that he may not graduate from high
school because of poor grades. Although he has a learning disability,
he's good with computers and he figures he can get a job working with
computers. He is probably right.
Mr. Fenimore also stated: "For decades there have been countless efforts
to reduce illiteracy. But the problem continues." What's not working?
What can we do to change things that we haven't already tried?
<JOLEARY at adc.state.az.us>
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