The Case for Adult Literacy, Simply Stated

Adult literacy advocates looking for a good elevator speech might consider a variation of  this quote from Greater New Orleans Community Data Center Director Allison Plyer, taking with WWNO about recent a study showing that 27% of of the working age population in the New Orleans region lack basic literacy skills:

Center Director Allison Plyer says improvements now happening at public schools are not enough to bolster the workforce needed for the future.

“That is absolutely essential, what we need to understand it will take many decades — all the way until 2060 — for our full workforce to have gone through those public schools,” Plyer said. “So we have to really consider the current workforce that is here, because even by 2025 two-thirds of the workforce will be people who are currently working-age adults, and 27 percent of whom are low-skilled.”

Whatever we are doing for K-12 students, none of that advances the skills of the current workforce—in New Orleans, or anywhere else.