The Human Cost Of An Illiterate Society Kozol Summary

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Summary and Response of the essay “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”
Summary: In the essay “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”, written by Jonathan Kozol and published in Reading for Writers, New York, in 2013 the Author is raising awareness of the audience of literates to the dangers of illiteracy. The author uses personal stories from people to describe the difficulties of an illiterate life. Jonathan Kozol also explains how voter turnout is lowered by about 16 million votes for a presidential contest due to illiteracy.
Response: The author Jonathan Kozol has been able to spend time in the lower poverty neighborhoods of Boston, allowing him to see first hand the effects of illiteracy has on the people of those communities.
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As he puts it “This is a society that most of us did not create but which our President and other leaders have been willing to sustain by virtue of malign neglect” (pg 38). Our society and our government haven’t directly created this concern but what are we doing to correct it? The government could be taking action by developing policies to help with the illiteracy problem. In recent years the government has developed a policy No Child Left Behind. This policy has redesigned elementary school curricula in an effort to include all children at their learning ability and to ensure their knowledge. The author noted that there were about 60 million illiterates back in 1980. (pg 32) According to the National Center for Education, through the website Statistics Brain, the illiteracy rate in the USA in 2016 has come down to 32 million, about 14%. Getting this information from the U.S. Census Bureau, there is no claim that this is a direct result from the Government policy but it does show us that they are attempting and wanting to make a difference by developing policies to help school age children. As a member of society, I believe the most humane thing would be to help those that are less fortunate by not having the privilege of literacy. If the educated portion of our society would care for our fellow man a little more by helping them and not make them feel the weight of illiteracy, it would give them the help they need to change and better

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