March 21, 2007
One-third of Washington, D.C. residents are functionally illiterate, according to a new study by the state education agency. Illiteracy is serious business. If you can’t read well, or at all, you are doomed to a life of unemployment or low-paying service jobs.
Before you who do not live in Washington become too judgmental, the study also says one-fifth of the country is functionally illiterate.
While the study found that growing number of Hispanic and Ethiopian immigrants who aren’t proficient in English contributed to Washington’s high functional illiteracy level, the immigrants aren’t alone in their inability to read and write English.
This is a failure of government education and political correctness. We are spending more per capita on Washington, D.C. students than anywhere else in the country. And we have failed to make immigrants become Americans; instead indulging them in maintaining their culture, language and everything else they brought from their homelands. This must change and soon for their sakes and for ours as a nation.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.