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The report was released by Madeline M. Kunin, then Deputy Secretary of Education.

She stated that “the overall education level of Americans has increased in terms of schooling and in fundamental literacy. But the demands of the workplace simultaneously have vastly increased. We are not keeping pace with the kinds of skills required in today’s economy.”

At a minimum, she felt, the findings are certain to prompt renewed efforts in bolstering adult education and literacy programs across the country, which typically are run by community colleges, churches, or service organizations, but reaching only a small fraction of adults who have trouble reading.

The test included questions revolving around practical matters that people face every day, like gleaning information from a newspaper, reading a bus schedule, making out a bank deposit slip, and understanding instructions for prospective jurors.

Between 1993 and 1996 approximately 9 million tax dollars were allocated to support adult education and library literacy programs.

But, the problem worsens as unchecked border crossings have produced a total of 36 million people who often cannot read their own native language – and rarely can read English. Last updated June 2007.

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