National News Roundup
Although American society has made "great progress" in appreciating and understanding literature, history, and culture, the study of the humanities in colleges and universities has declined, according to a
The Congressionally mandated report argued that recent increases in attendance at museums and cultural events, in book Americans are learning, are gaining the insights that the humanities offer." Single copies of the report, "Humanities in America," are available free of charge from the Office of Publications and Public Affairs, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506.
Coalition Urges the Next President To Lead National Literacy Efforts
The next President should lead efforts to curb adult illiteracy by highlighting the issue and providing support for state, local, and private literacy efforts, a coalition of reading and literacy groups contends.
"Only Presidential leadership can ensure that the basic literacy needs of Americans are met," the working group on adult literacy said in its proposed "national adult-literacy policy."
The group recommended that the President inform the nation of the "literacy crisis" in his State of the Union Message; create a Cabinet council on adult literacy; propose the creation of a "national institute for adult literacy"; and double federal funding for adult education.
Recent efforts by state and local governments and the private sector, the group noted, have raised public awareness of the issue and have boosted the resources available for dealing with it. But "these efforts fall far short of the needs" of the more than 23 million Americans who lack basic literacy skills, the group argued.
The coalition includes representatives from the Adult Literacy and Technology Project; the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education; the American Library Association; the Association of State Literacy Directors; the Correctional Education Association; the Council of State Adult Education Directors; the International Reading Association; Laubach Literacy Action; Literacy Volunteers of America; the State Literacy Initiatives Network; and the Urban Literacy Network.