Literacy Rates - Nationwide

The following graphs represent literacy rates in the United States. Notice that in fourth grade only one third of students read well, leaving one third struggling, and the remaining third functionally illiterate. By eighth grade some of the students who were illiterate in fourth grade have become struggling readers, but notice that the percentage of students reading well has dropped slightly. In order to understand the final graph it is necessary to understand the tasks required at the given levels of literacy. To find out more information see The devastating reality that only 3% of adults read at the highest level of proficiency means that only 3% of adults are able to read and comprehend the required documents of participating on a jury. The consequences of failing to teach children to read are felt at all levels of a democratic society. Take Action in ensuring that every child learns to read by third grade!

Tasks Required for Each Level of Proficiency on the NAAL

This information was taken from page 10 of the

Level 1

Identify country in short article

Locate one piece of information in sports article

Underline sentence explaining action stated in short article

Sign your name   

Locate expiration date on driver's license

Locate time of meeting on a form

Using pie graph, locate type of vehicle having specific sales

Total a bank deposit entry

Level 2

Underline meaning of a term given in government brochure on supplemental security income

Locate two features of information in sports article

Locate intersection on a street map   

Locate eligibility from table of employee benefits   

Identify and enter background information on application for social security card

Calculate postage and fees for certified mail

Determine difference in price between tickets for two shows

Calculate total costs of purchase from an order form

Level 3

Interpret instructions from an appliance warranty

Write a brief letter explaining error made on a credit card bill

Read a news article and identify a sentence that provides interpretation of a situation

Identify information from bar graph depicting source of energy and year

Read lengthy article to identify two behaviors that meet a stated condition

Use sign out sheet to respond to call about resident

Use bus schedule to determine appropriate bus for given set of conditions

Enter information given into an automobile maintenance record form

Using calculator, calculate difference between regular and sale price from an advertisement

Using calculator, determine the discount from an oil bill if paid within 10 days

Level 4

State in writing an argument made in lengthy newspaper article

Explain difference between two types of employee benefits

Contrast views expressed in two editorials on technologies available to make fuel-efficient cars

Generate unfamiliar theme from short poems

Compare two metaphors used in poem

Plan travel arrangements for meeting using flight schedule

Use bus schedule to determine appropriate bus for given set of conditions

Determine correct change using information in a menu

Using information stated in news article, calculate amount of money that should go to raising a child

Using eligibility pamphlet, calculate the yearly amount a couple would receive for basic supplemental security income

Level 5

Calculate miles per gallon using information given on mileage record chart

Compare approaches stated in narrative on growing up

Use table of information to determine pattern in oil exports across years

Using table comparing credit cards, identify the two categories used and write two differences between them

Summarize two ways lawyers may challenge prospective jurors

Determine individual and total costs on an order form for items in a catalog

Interpret a brief phrase from a lengthy news article

Using information in news article, calculate difference in times for completing a race

Using a table depicting information about parental involvement in school survey to write a paragraph summarizing extent to which parents and teachers agree

Using calculator, determine the total cost of carpet to cover a room