According to a study conducted in late April, 2015 by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, over 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. Also, 21 percent, or about 60 million adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read at all. Many of these adults can’t write their names on Social Security cards or fill in height, weight, and birth dates on application forms.
The current literacy rate isn’t any better than it was 20 years ago. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (completed most recently in 2003, and before that, in 1992), 14 percent of adult Americans demonstrated a “below basic” literacy level in 2003, and 29 percent exhibited a “basic” reading level.
Only about 3.5 percent of a 26,000-member sample demonstrated literacy skills adequate to do traditional college study, a level reached by 30 percent of secondary students in 1940 and by 30 percent of secondary students in other developed countries today.
Fifty million Americans can’t recognize printed words on a fourth or fifth-grade reading level. Consequently, they can’t write simple messages or letters.
These are grim statistics for our children in 21st century America.
Parents, your child’s life and future can literally depend on his or her ability to read well. College, a good job, economic security, access to health care, and the ability to actively participate in civic life all depend on your child’s ability to read.
According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” The stats back up this claim: 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level, according to the website, www.BeginToRead.com.
Yet, per-student costs and taxes for public schools have almost tripled in the last 40 years. Now what other industry do you know of where the product’s cost triples, yet the product stinks, and remains a dismal failure?
It is only because public schools are a government-run monopoly that their incompetence is ingrained and beyond repair. Public schools do not have to improve, ever, nor does teacher competence have to improve, because these schools get compulsory tax funding to stay in business, and teachers get tenure. These public-school’s existence don’t depend on the voluntary payments of parents, as private schools do. All Americans are forced to pay real-estate and/or income taxes to “support” these schools, no matter how incompetent they are. Public schools can thumb their nose at parents, no matter how bad they are, because taxes keep them afloat, like the Post Office.
Public schools also get their customers, your children by force, through compulsory attendance laws. That is, public schools are like education prisons where the inmates are forced to “attend” for 10 years, before they are “released” when they reach 16-years old.
Most parents think that education has to be run by government, because that’s the way it’s been done for the last 100 years, and because they, the parents also went to public school. That is not the case. The education free-market in America provides a wide choice of superb private kindergartens, religious primary schools, private colleges, and private tutors. Our education free-market also gives us the incredible resources of the internet, tons of home-schooling education materials, and thousands of software programs to teach your children to read and do math at an early age.
There are now also dozens of low-cost K-12 internet private schools that you can enroll your child in. These schools are like brick-and-mortar private schools, but cost much less. They assign a special teacher to each child, have an excellent well-rounded curriculum, constant testing of your child’s progress, and help you get your child into the college of his/her choice.
Parents, if you are disgusted with your local public school, you have good reason to be. Do you want to condemn your child to a lifetime of illiteracy, low-paying jobs, and dismal future? If not, please consider walking away from these government-education prisons called public schools, and trying the life-giving breath of the education free market. I describe many more low-cost education options for your children in my book, “Public Schools, Public Menace.”
© 2016 Joel Turtel – All Rights Reserved