Adult Literacy in America:
Claim: Literacy in America is lacking and a potential cause to economic and social problems.
Data: Twenty-one to 23 percent — or some 40 to 44 million of the 191 million
adults in this country — demonstrated skills in the lowest level of prose,
document, and quantitative proficiencies (Level 1 proficient), (Kirsch, 2002).
Warrant: The reason for this is due to an insufficient distribution of public funds to lower income public school institutions and the result is an uneven distribution in literacy rates between socio-economic classes.
Backing: Nearly two-thirds of those in Level 1 (62 percent) had terminated their education before completing high school. This is a trend seen much more frequently in lower income areas as there is not as much funding in programs that incentivize education, (Kirsch, 2002)
Counterclaim: Twenty-five percent of the respondents who performed in this level were immigrants who may have been just learning to speak English. While this does affect the integration of immigrants into American society it does not directly affect the literacy issue in America because all countries with immigrant populations face this issue.
Rebuttal: Nearly half (41 to 44 percent) of all adults in the lowest level on each literacy scale were living in poverty, compared with only 4 to 8 percent of those in the two highest proficiency levels. The fact that nearly half of the impoverished population shows a Level 1 literacy rate shows how there is a direct correlation between literacy rate and economic class in the United States.
Kirsch, I. S. (2002). Adult Literacy in America. NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93275.pdf.
Summary/Description: This article summarizes the ways in which people in America are affected by their literacy rates. The result of the article showed a direct correlation between literacy rates and socio-economic position. Those who did not have high literacy levels were the citizens most likely to be impoverished, it also showed how little the National Literacy Act of 1991 did to actually make change within the realm of this issue.
Evaluation: If I were tasked to show how literacy rates effect the success of people in a capitalistic society I would definitely use America as the prime example of this issue. America is one of, if not the most, rich countries in the world so for the illiteracy in adults to be more than 15% of the adult population is very alarming. America is supposed to be a poster country for success and achieving success, but the institutions set up to protect the welfare of the nation’s future generations. Welfare is clearly created by earning capital and shown by this article it is almost impossible to do this without being literate.
Claim about Literacy:
Literacy in America is a big issue because citizens who are socio-economically positioned to not learn how to correctly read are generally inflicted by a life of poverty. Twenty-one to 23 percent — or some 40 to 44 million of the 191 million adults in this country — demonstrated skills in the lowest level of prose of reading skill (Kirsch, 2002). This twenty percent of the population is positioned in this area because of several reasons, firstly the government has done an insufficient job in distributing funds equally among public education boards nationwide. This has created a significant gap between the education received by the rich and that of the impoverished. The result of this gap is a disenfranchisement of the lower income community from the opportunities received and cherished by the richer community. Literacy in America is therefore a more economic issue that has turned into a social issue, the government and upper class need to step up to increase funding in lower income areas so that the benefits of the education system are met by more than just the upper class.