1994 Update of Needs Data from the San Mateo County United Way's Needs Assessment Report
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III.  SOCIAL / HUMAN SERVICES

SAN MATEO COUNTY

TYPES OF SERVICES CATEGORIES

20.  TUTORING SERVICES/ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINING/LITERACY TRAINING

 

POSSIBLE INDICATORS 1990 NEEDS ASSESSMENT 1993 UPDATE OTHER NEEDS STATEMENTS-DATA
Illiteracy Rates    
  • 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 state’s 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 it’s standard of living, and shoulder the burden of the retirement of the baby boom generation unless these adults get assistance to upgrade their basic skills.

 

Illiteracy Rates Among:
  • Minority Youth
  • Immigrants & Refugees
  • Blacks
  • Hispanics
  • Families On Public Assistance
Estimate of Number/Percent of Persons Functionally Illiterate
Source:    United way 1990 Needs Assessment Summary Report
 

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