The Three Kinds of Illiteracy
Thirteen percent of American seventeen-year-olds are illiterate, according to a recent issue of Time; the estimate for minority youth is an astonishing forty percent. Every year, at least a million of these functional illiterates graduate from America's high schools, the proud owners of meaningless diplomas.
Illiteracy this extensive is virtually unprecedented in America's history. Eighty years ago, in 1910, only 2.2 percent of American children between the ages of ten and fourteen could neither read nor write.