42% of adults between the ages of 25 and 67 have, at most, a high school education (U.S. Census 2000).
20% of preschool aged children live in poverty and are likely to be part of families where the parent with the highest education has less than a high school education (National Institute of Family Literacy).
2/3 of all jobs, and the majority of jobs that pay wages sufficient to support a family, require skills associated with at least some education beyond high school (Carnevale & Derochers, 2003).
The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) estimates that 30 million adults in the U.S. –14% of the country’s adult population – have only the most minimal ability to read and write in English.
22.2% of the foreign-born population had less than a 9th grade education, compared to 4.7% of the native population (Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau 2000).
66% of high school graduates do not have the skills and qualifications necessary to attend college (Center for Civic Innovation at the Manhattan Institute, 2005).
Almost 50% of adults on welfare do not have a high school diploma or GED (National Institute for Literacy).
43% of people with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty, 17% receive food stamps, and 70% have no job or a part-time job (National Institute for Literacy).
American businesses are estimated to lose over $60 billion in productivity each year due to employees’ lack of basic skills (National Institute for Literacy).