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Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Adult Education Fact Sheet
Nationally, about one in three prison inmates performed at Level 1 on the 1990 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) prose scale, compared with one in five of the household population.
The Three State Recidivism Study found that re-arrest, reconviction, and re-incarceration rates were lower for the prison population who had participated in correctional education than for non-participants:
Income, Income Tied to Education: Using 2000 data, the U.S. Census Bureau projects synthetic earnings based on educational attainment to be as follows:
*Worklife is defined as the period from age 25 through 64. (U.S. Census Bureau, The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings, July 2002, p. 1, 2 and 4)
In 2000, median earnings of workers age 25 and over with a:
“Consider the median annual income of full-time workers 25 years old and over in 1998. Men with a 9th-to-12th grade education, but no high school diploma, earned an average of $24,000, compared to an average of $40,300 earned by men with an associate degree or $56,500 earned by men with a bachelor’s degree. For women, those with a 9th-to-12th grade education but no diploma earned an average of $16,500, compared to $29,900 earned by women with an associates degree and $36,600 earned by those with a four-year degree.” (D’Amico, March 2003)
English as a Second Language (ESU) Programs: ESL programs are the fastest growing component of the state-administered adult education programs. In 1997-98, 48 percent of enrollments were in ESL programs, compared to 33 percent in 1993-94. Of these 48 percent enrollees, 32 percent were in beginning ESL classes, 12 percent in intermediate, and 4 percent in advanced. (U.S. Department of Education, OVAE, Human Investment Impact)
Family Literacy: Adults participating in family literacy (NIFL, Fact Sheets)
GED: Facts from the GED 2001 Statistical Report:
Literacy: The National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) was conducted during 1992 by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for the U.S. Department of Education. The survey had a nationally representative sample of some 13,600 adults who were interviewed in their homes and asked to provide personal and background information and to complete a booklet of literacy tasks. The results are reported in three scales, each ranging from 0-500: a prose scale, a document scale, and a quantitative scale. Each scale is then divided into five levels: Level 1 (0-225), Level 2 (226-275), Level 3 (276-325), Level 4 (326-375), and Level 5 (376-500).
A new survey is being conducted in the following stages:
According to the National Adult Literacy Survey of 1992:
(Kirsch, Executive Summary)
Literacy and Income: More than 40 percent of adults in the lowest literacy level live in poverty. 43 percent of adults at Level 1 were living in poverty, compared to 4 percent of those at Level 5.* (Kirsch, 1993)
Adults at Level 1 earned a median income of $240 per week, compared to $681 for those at level 5.* (NIFL, 1993)
The likelihood of being on welfare goes up as literacy levels go down. Three out of four food stamp recipients performed in the two lowest literacy levels. (NIFL, 1993)
Literacy and Quality of Life: 90 million Americans are affected with low/marginal literacy. Low literacy, poor health, and early death are inexorably linked. (Hohn, 1997)
“Of those participating in adult basic education programs, 42 percent—are in English literacy programs. The remaining 58 percent have basic skills below a high school-equivalent level.” (D’Amico, March 2003)
Literacy and Unemployment: Seventy percent of adults with the lowest literacy skills are unemployed or work in part-time jobs (Kirsch, 1993)
Adults at Level 1 worked an average of 19 weeks per year, compared to 44 weeks per year for those at Level 5.* (NIFL, 1993)
In 2000, the unemployment rate of workers age 25 and over with a:
This document is not necessarily endorsed by the Almanac of Policy Issues. It is being preserved in the Policy Archive for historic reasons.