Monday, November 19, 2007

America ill of literacy?

Chronicle is reporting (subscription required)
Americans aren't just reading fewer books, but are reading less and less of everything, in any medium. That's the doleful conclusion of "To Read or Not to Read," a report scheduled for release today by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Subtitled "A Question of National Consequence," the report piles on the bad news delivered by "Reading at Risk," the NEA's 2004 warning about the nation's rapidly declining literacy...

"The story the data tell is simple, consistent, and alarming," writes Dana Gioia. the NEA's chairman, in the new report's preface. Elementary-school children have posted some gains in literacy, but "there is a general decline in reading among teenage and adult Americans."

"Most alarming," he continues, "both reading ability and the habit of regular reading have greatly declined among college graduates."

Unlike the 2004 study, "To Read or Not to Read" examined not just literary reading but all kinds of reading, including online. And it tapped a far wider range of sources, notably statistics from the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, as well as academic and corporate studies....

Visit the Chronicle for the entire article.

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