Adult Literacy in Ohio: Results of the State Adult Literacy Survey.Report as inadecuate

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The Ohio Adult Literacy Survey, like the National Adult Literacy Survey of which it is a part, aimed to characterize adults' literacy skills in English based on their performance on diverse tasks that reflect the types of materials and demands they encounter in their daily lives. To gather information on the literacy skills of adults in Ohio, trained staff interviewed The development of inclusive adult literacy, language, and numeracy curricula months of 1992. The 1,600 randomly chosen participants were representative of the 8.3 million adults in the state as a whole. Each survey participant was asked to spend approximately an hour responding to a series of varied literacy tasks as well as questions about his or her demographic characteristics, educational background, employment, income, reading practices, and other areas related to literacy. Based on their responses to the survey tasks, adults received proficiency scores along three scales reflecting degrees of skill in prose, document, and quantitative literacy. Some of the results were as follows: (1) 16-18 percent of the respondents demonstrated skills in the lowest level of the scale; (2) 27-31 percent of the respondents performed in the next higher level of proficiency, and approximately one-third of the participants performed in the third level of proficiency; (3) approximately 18 percent of the respondents performed at the highest level; (4) the Ohio averages were almost identical to the Midwest averages and higher than the country as a whole; (5) older adults were more likely than middle-aged and younger adults to demonstrate limited literacy skills; (6) average literacy proficiencies rose with years of schooling completed; (7) employed respondents were less likely than the unemployed to have low literacy skills; (8) respondents with the highest literacy levels were most likely to earn the highest incomes; (9) persons who watched the most television had lower average proficiencies than those who watched the least; and (10) adults who used the skills tested in their jobs or lives were more proficient in them than those who did not. (The report contains 80 tables of statistical data on the survey and 3 appendixes that explain the research methodology of the survey.) (KC)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adult Literacy, Adults, Basic Skills, Demography, Employment Level, Numeracy, State Surveys, Tables (Data)

Author: Jenkins, Lynn B.; Kirsch, Irwin S.


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