Education & Reading in America

In my last post, I vowed to do better at raising my awareness of how different the world can be for different people.

People like to think that they’re typical—we each like to believe that we’re the norm. I believe that much of the conflict that exists between social classes and political parties stems from our inability to see (or, more accurately, our inability to accept and truly understand) that the world for other people isn’t always the same as the world is for us.

I grew up in a family of well-educated, avid readers. Pretty much all of my friends are well-educated, avid readers, too. I can’t imagine living in a world where I don’t read, or where all of my friends and family don’t read. Where the majority of people around me don’t have college degrees. I just can’t picture it.

Today, Stephen Abram posted some highlights from the Digest of Education Statistics, 2012:

Reference: Just Released: “Digest of Education Statistics, 2012 (posted on Stephen’s Lighthouse on January 9, 2014)

I recently saw this infographic about reading in America:

Surprising Book Facts (infographic)
(Image © RobertBrewer.org)

I read these stats that show that less than a third of Americans have college degrees, I read stats that a quarter of people over the age of 16 haven’t read a book in the past year, that almost half of adults score at the two lowest levels of literacy—and it brings home the basic truth that I am not a typical American, not by a long shot.

That’s really difficult to wrap my brain around.

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