III. SOCIAL / HUMAN SERVICES
SAN MATEO COUNTY
TYPES OF SERVICES CATEGORIES
SERVICES/ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINING/LITERACY TRAINING
||1990 NEEDS ASSESSMENT
- Nationally one in five people are functionally illiterate. The actual number of
illiterate whites is twice that of illiterate Blacks and Hispanics. However, the
percentage of Blacks and Hispanics who are illiterate is much higher than the percentage
of Whites who are illiterate. Hispanics have the highest level of English illiteracy.
- While illiteracy is not a new phenomenon in this country, the number of those who cannot
read at all has either decreased or not changed. It is functional illiteracy that has
increased. Function is imposed by economic and social factors. Functional illiteracy in
our society demands twelfth grade reading, writing and calculating skills.
- Functional illiteracy has two facets; limited basic skills and limited proficiency in
English. According to the California State Department of Education, fewer than 10% of the
states 1.7 million illiterates are enrolled in literacy programs. Funded English
language training for new immigrants is limited to 40 hours of basic English training. 80%
of all literacy programs in the Bay Area are geared toward immigrants. On a national
level, up to 86% of non-English speakers who are illiterate in English are also illiterate
in their native languages.
- The illiteracy rate is highest among the disadvantaged.
- 75% of the work force for the year 2000 are in the work force now. Twenty to thirty
million cannot read, write, calculate, solve problems or communicate will enough to
function effectively on the job. There is no way in which the US can remain competitive in
a global economy, maintain its standard of living, and shoulder the burden of the
retirement of the baby boom generation unless these adults get assistance to upgrade their
|Illiteracy Rates Among:
- Minority Youth
- Immigrants & Refugees
- Families On Public Assistance
|Estimate of Number/Percent of Persons Functionally
|Source: United way 1990 Needs Assessment