An incomprehensible 42 million Americans cannot read, write or perform simple math. Another 50 million Americans cannot read past the 4th grade level. (Source: National Right to Read Foundation)
The Foundation reported, “According to current estimates, the number of functionally illiterate adults is increasing by approximately two and one quarter million persons each year. This number includes nearly 1 million young people who drop out of school before graduation, 400,000 legal immigrants, 100,000 refugees, and 800,000 illegal immigrants, and 20 percent of all high school graduates. Eighty-four percent of the 23,000 people who took an exam for entry-level jobs at New York Telephone in 1988, failed.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams reported that 1.2 million teens hit America’s streets every June unable to read or write. Detroit, Michigan epitomizes this country’s educational dilemma: 76 percent dropout/flunkout rate. Dozens of cities across the country suffer 50 to 60 percent dropout rates.
CNN reported on August 30, 2010, “7,000 American high school students drop out every day; one every 26 seconds.”
Everywhere in America, we enjoy food-filled grocery stores, roads, homes and schools. In America, most cities function and the majority of people enjoy happy lives—or at least the opportunity to enjoy fulfilling lives.
Do you ever wonder why countries like Morocco, Pakistan, Mexico, Sudan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Congo—all third world countries—suffer human misery and failures on enormous scales? Why do 18 million third world citizens starve to death annually? (Source: World Health Organization) Why does India allow 1,000 children under 10 to die of dysentery, diarrhea and other water-borne diseases DAILY? (Source: www.populationmedia.org) Why have 12 million Mexicans illegally ventured northward into the United States and Canada seeking a better life? Why does Asia feature a $7 billion annual people-smuggling trade to Western countries? (Source: Forbes Magazine)
The one word that defines third world countries: mass illiteracy!
America faces a predicament more profound than anything ever in the 234 year history of this republic. A republic demands an educated populace. Without an educated citizenry, America cannot expect to remain a viable “people-driven” republic. Why? With continued mass illiteracy, a permanent underclass will become intractable. Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and George Washington understood the need for education. The ‘common man’ makes a republic possible according to Thomas Jefferson. Without an ‘educated’ common man, our MOST extraordinary self-governing U.S. Constitution, only 234 years old, cannot and will not function much longer.
One reader said, “Huge government and government entitlement programs is a fundamental problem that affects everything. And, to top it off, the taxpayer base is now closing in on a tipping point where more people do not pay income tax as compared to how many do pay.”
As a teacher for 20 years, I watched our country move from affirmative-action grading in our schools in the 1970s to affirmative-action high school diplomas. Once students discovered they could get something for nothing, they milked the system via affirmative-action jobs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” allowed anyone that could muster little to no effort—could enjoy maximum financial reward—as long as someone else covered by working twice as much.
Today, this country’s inner cities thrive on food stamps for 41.1 million recipients, assisted housing, free breakfasts and lunches for ‘at risk’ children. Over half of all children suffer no father and an illiterate mother.
Back on the world stage, illiterate and destitute mothers birth an added 77 million new babies annually. They birth SO many children, no third world country can manage to educate those children. Thus, mass illiteracy begets mass human population growth that feeds into more human misery on scales heretofore unknown to humanity.
As the CNN report illustrated, only one to two percent of Blacks and Hispanics make up the teaching ranks in America. Without any role models, American minority youth drop out at 7,000 young boys and girls every day.
Can America withstand this accelerating illiteracy epidemic? Can it survive the multiplication of ghettoes, unwed mothers, welfare, crime and drug addiction? At what point does the fabric of America shred into the hopelessness of the third world. For answers: visit LA, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Houston and any other large city where gangs, graffiti, crime and drugs dominate.
With a new permanent, illiterate sub-class in America that grows too fast to solve, at some point, we will not be able to save ourselves from unraveling as a civilization.