Half the People In Detroit Can’t Read This

WWJTV, a CBS affiliate out of Detroit, Michigan, is taking note of a report by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund that states nearly half – 47% – of all people living in Detroit are functionally illiterate.

The report, found here, states:

The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 47% of adults (more than 200,000 individuals) in the City of Detroit are functionally illiterate, referring to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing, and computational skills in everyday life situations

Detroit is clearly a city in trouble. They are on the brink, if not already at, the point of collapse for every single indicator of a society that we can think of. Gangs? Yep. Violence? Yep. High unemployment? Got that too. People leaving the city? By the bus load. Corrupt government? Got that too. Businesses fleeing? Pack up the vans.

We had written about Detroit previously here at Raised on Hoecakes. This report is just another indication of the failure of a city that at one point in time, exemplified the liberal utopia. Unions “for the common person” dominated the workforce. Any and all social programs were instituted, funded on the backs of businesses and the working people. Schools were not held accountable for the success of their students. Students that failed were passed along. Teachers and their unions were more concerned with getting raises and more benefits than education. The result has been the demise of a once great city.

The failure is no better seen than in this report.

What is absolutely stunning is that the conclusion of this report is that there are “opportunities” to turn this failure around by, you guessed it, more social programs.

There are times when the absurdity of these situations boggle the mind.

The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund wants more funding to buttress failed policies and attitudes in the city.

One only has to look at the conclusion of the report to see the failure of the argument. Once again, citing the report:

We also know that of the 200,000 adults who are functionally illiterate, approximately half have a high school diploma or GED, so this issue cannot be solely addressed by a focus on adult high-school completion.

Back the GM truck up here for a moment. The City of Detroit education system has putting out people that either have a diploma or a GED and are functionally illiterate? They are giving diplomas and GED’s to people who can’t read? Can’t do basic math to balance a checkbook? Can’t speak correctly? Can’t write or fill out a job application? And now a group wants money to help people that walked through the system without first correcting the system failure that produced them?

Without a significant change in the educational structure in Detroit, schools will continue to pump out people that are illiterate. The taxpayers will then be asked for massive subsidies to fund programs that should never have to exist in the first place.

The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund doesn’t want to acknowledge the root of the problem. In fact, they seem to delight or downplay the core issue by reporting:

The same research cited above estimates that 13% of adults in Macomb and Oakland Counties are functionally illiterate.

And within the tri-county region, there are a number of municipalities with illiteracy rates rivaling Detroit: Southfield at 24%, Warren at 17%, Inkster at 34%, Pontiac at 34%.

Such figures are a city, regional, and national disgrace. The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund says there are “opportunities” to help people as if such “opportunities” were a good thing rather than demonstrate a complete and total failure of the education system.

In essence, Detroit Regional Workforce Fund is happy to plead and beg for money, but not happy about addressing the issue. They almost seem to delight in the comparison between Detroit and other cities:

“For other major urban areas, we are a little bit on the high side… We compare, slightly higher, to Washington D.C.’s urban population, in certain ZIP codes in Washington D.C. and in Cleveland,” [Detroit Regional Workforce Fund’s Director, Karen Tyler-Ruizshe] said.

It is almost as if they are saying “other places suck too, but we suck the worst! We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number one!”

No wonder Detroit is in such horrible shape.

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