Workforce Report: Half of Detroiters Can't Read

Thursday, 05 May 2011 02:40 PM

By Martin Gould

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Nearly half of the people living in Detroit cannot read well enough to fill out a basic form, new statistics show. An alarming 47 percent are “functionally illiterate,” according to a report from the city’s Regional Workforce Fund, CBS’ Detroit affiliate reports.

“I don’t really know how they get by, but they do. Are they getting by well? Well, that’s another question,” said Karen Tyler-Ruiz, the fund's director.

The report, “Addressing Detroit’s Basic Skills Crisis” says 200,000 people in Detroit are “functionally illiterate.” It describes that as “the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing and computational skills in everyday life situations,”

But the report says half of those have a high school diploma or GED.

Tyler-Ruiz said those who are functionally illiterate are not able to fill out forms or read a pill bottle to know how many to take. “Just your basic everyday tasks,” she said.


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