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  Category: Articles » Education & Reference » Teaching » Article

America Is Getting Dumber

By The Imaginary Diva

It's the same discussion all over again. The growing illiteracy of Middle America.

It's a hot button topic between Lem and I. This is always the topic of discussion on the way home from the gym. A good 30 minutes of it. To be continued the next day if we werent able to state our cause within that time period.

Did you know?

More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage.

More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. About three in five of America's prison inmates are illiterate.

Over one million children drop out of school each year, costing the nation over $240 billion in lost earnings, forgone tax revenues, and expenditures for social services.

Nearly half of America's adults are poor readers, or "functionally illiterate." They can't carry out
simply tasks like balancing check books, reading drug labels or writing essays for a job.

44 million adults in the U.S. can't read well enough to read a simple story to a child.

21 million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can't read their diplomas.

Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.

60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.

Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.

It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year.

Dyslexia affects one ot of every five children - ten million in America alone.

U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy.

To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population.

So, where do you fit in?

Call me a snob. I finished all my high school math classes the summer before Grade 9. I started university credit classes at CalTech the same year I started high school. I was top 1% in high school. I made it to Who's Who in American High School Students two years in a row and the Deans List. I was accepted to 8 high profiled universities including an Ivy League School. I graduated from university with two degrees. And accepted for my Masters / Specialization.

Still, am I qualified to teach my children? And homeschool them? Am I qualified to teach them Shakespeare? I have no passion for him, or for the plots. Am I qualified to teach them Social History? God no. Am I qualified to assess that my child has a learning disability? I can list a million things I am not qualified for when it comes to professional instruction.

I want my child to have the best of everything. I want to open doors to them. I want them to be an individual shaped by their own choice of role models. I want them to be able to go to the university they hav choisen and not be stuck in the line up. I want them to have choices.

Really? Why homeschooling? If your kid is smarter than his peers, sign up for advanced placement classes. It's a great way for high achievers to realize their potential in a controlled environment.

Dont let your kid be part of the statistic.
About the Author
The Imaginary Diva's excerpt on Life-

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