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February 5, 2013 / erinroche

Erin Roche: America’s Rising Illiteracy Rates Impact Workers’ Industry

Illiteracy among American youths has reached crisis proportions according to multiple reports by organizations that track literacy. The reading skills of nearly 70 percent of eighth-grade students and 65 percent of high school seniors are “below proficient” a National Assessment of Educational Progress reported. Every day, some 3,000 students drop out of high school, many citing their inability to keep up with required reading as a reason.

There are many long-term consequences of rising illiteracy rates. An estimated 34 million adults lack the basic literacy skills needed in daily life, such as completing an employment application and reading instructions. This makes the job prospects for these adults grim, especially in fields like business and education where the ability to read, synthesize information, and write is crucial. As a result, companies often are forced to offer remedial classes, spending $300 million annually according to a survey of Fortune 500 businesses.

About Erin Roche: Early in his career, educator Erin Roche worked for Literacy Volunteers of America. The Principal of Chicago’s Prescott School, he also supports the efforts of Boundless Readers, Illinois Math and Science Academy, and education-focused organizations.

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