According to a new report, 47 percent of Detroiters are ”functionally illiterate.” The alarming new statistics were released by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund on Wednesday.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with the Fund’s Director, Karen Tyler-Ruiz, who explained exactly what this means.
“Not able to fill out basic forms, for getting a job — those types of basic everyday (things). Reading a prescription; what’s on the bottle, how many you should take… just your basic everyday tasks,” she said.
“I don’t really know how they get by, but they do. Are they getting by well? Well, that’s another question,” Tyler-Ruiz said.
Some of the Detroit suburbs also have high numbers of functionally illiterate: 34 percent in Pontiac and 24 percent in Southfield.
“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,” she said.
Tyler-Ruiz said only 10 percent of those who can’t read have gotten any help to resolve it.
Keep in mind that this is despite some pretty lavish education spending in Detroit:
Median compensation for a DPS teacher is $76,000 and Detroit spends the third highest amount of money per student among 76 large cities nationwide. Statewide, Detroit’s spending per pupil is in the 91st percentile and DPS teachers are paid at the 96th percentile.
Detroit has been described as “the most liberal city in America,” a veritable bastion of progressive policy. How has that worked out? In addition to illiteracy rates, Detroit has gone from the wealthiest city in America in 1950 to being ranked by the US Census Bureau as the 2nd poorest city in the nation per capita, second only to Cleveland.
Maybe, just maybe, Detroit ought to be a cautionary tale for the nation. Big government, union-friendly policies are a recipe suffering.
Unless dumb and poor is our goal. Then, by all means, let’s vote Democrat.