47% Of Detroit Detroit Citizens Are “Functionally Illiterate”


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.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Jimmypop

    this is what i dont get; how cant the leadership see this? all you need to do is look to other towns, literally ANY other town,to compare. one would HOPE theyd say ‘ i dont think this is working.’ even ONE PERSON in their leadership….. i dont see any hope for change in that town. sad.

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      It may well be working as far as they are concerned (f.i., Obama policies).

    • Pfeh

      They can see this, and they are overjoyed. The Democrat Party (Communist Party, really) is about creating a nation of miserable proletariat that the ruling class can manipulate and control easily.

      It’s the exact same pattern politicians are renowned for – they will squander a million taxpayer dollars in return for a five thousand dollar bribe in their pocket. They will happily squander the product of a million citizens’ lives if it means they get to be in charge and have a nicer house than the proles.

    • Jvette

      Worse, how is it the electorate doesn’t see it?

  • awfulorv

    There’s something else that could be causing the problem but, darn, it escapes me at the moment. Ah! now I remember, two many cars on the road. They’ve been making cars since the early 1900s, most have been sold and went elsewhere but, you can bet, many wanted to stay with their friends, and now the roads have just become too clogged. This has to be the problem as they have plenty of water, fresh air, are kept supplied with enough money to afford Plasma TVs, video games, gambling junkets, and housing. They have fine, costly schools, excellent teachers, cause they pay them more ” to attract the very best”, Professional sports teams, albeit they’ve been sub par for a few years. Hell, they even got themselves a former bucket ball player as Mayor, cause you know them suckers are superb at “Delivering the Goods”, if you know what I mean. So it has to be the glut of cars clogging their arteries. Can’t for the world imagine what else could be causing their difficulties.

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    Perfect breeding ground for perfect Democrat voters.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      The plantation watermellon farm

  • JustRuss

    They have to pay the teachers that much, it’s hazard pay.

  • http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com ReaganiteRepublican


    If you’ve ever been there it’s no surprise

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      It’s almost as bad as the south and most red states.

      • 2hotel9

        Poor tranni, too illiterate to actually read the study results. How about you show us where it says that, whinny lying c*nt. Oh, yea, your too stupid to read that sentence.

      • mickey_moussaoui

        Say’s the little watermellon

      • Guest

        ✓Over 155 thousand adults
        in Hawaiʻi – an estimated
        16% – are functionally
        ✓The highest rate of
        illiteracy on Oahu is in the
        Kalihi-Pālama area – 32%,
        followed by Waiʻanae at

        • 2hotel9

          Adjusted for population numbers and Hawaii is far worse than Detroit! Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Well, that’s much better than most red states. Looks like were winning.

          • Guest

            Adjusted for population numbers and Hawaii is far worse than Detroit!

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Almost as bad?

        Why don’t you look up the facts and share them with us?

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Rob Port, you want me to show illiteracy levels based on partisan politics that point at specific states, like you do?

          Here is some information:

          A number of national literacy studies reveal that an estimated 47 percent of the American adult population performs only the simplest reading skills.

          Astonishing as this may seem, it’s true.

          Fewer than 40 million Americans can complete any challenging literary tasks that require above average reading skills — meaning they can add the total on a bank slip or identify a piece of specific information in a brief news article.

          And what’s more, only another 50 million can calculate a total purchase, determine the difference in price between two items and locate a specific point on a map.

          Believe it or not, only about 60 million persons in the country can decipher information from long texts or legal documents.

          Looks like 47 percent is the national average, eh?

          Wake me when you have found yourself a clue.

          • 2hotel9

            Speak of the huge numbers of illiterates in Hawaii and in toddles the Big Kahuna to drive the point home. What a stupid f*ck.

          • A Citizen

            A new day and hanni the skankfucker and part time cockgobbler is back to get pissed on all over again. He just loves that feeling of warm piss.

  • 2hotel9

    Only 47%?!?! Wow, TV and video games and rap music aren’t as bad for people as leftards keep screeching they are.

  • DopeyDem

    Rob, I’m amazed that you hit the main target of the current administration spot on with your last sentence. I can see it as a BHO 2012 Relection Poster.
    Dumb and Poor 2012.
    Or better yet,
    Fore Mor Yeers. Obama 2012. (Even works in the golf thing)

  • mickey_moussaoui

    “Fore Mor Yeers. Obama 2012″ Okay, that’s funny. Too bad 47% of Detroit and most libs wont get the punch line.

  • http://www.trichologist-resources.com Joe1232

    I em frum Detroit and gess Im not smart cuz Im in the 47% groop.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      If you say so because no one said it was 100% of everyone from Detroit. Math is a bitch.

  • sbark

    …….another symptom of Liberalism…..

    For 60 yrs after the civil war the Dem’cat party used their militant members of the KKK to keep the blacks down trodden……………..now they just use Liberalism and all its effects including the proclaimed 1960’s utopia Detroit and all across the USA

    I’d say this is actually worse……..at least under the KKK thumb the Black population at least had self respect and a principled body.

    now they’ve sold their soul to the demcat party and just add to the 100% failure on record.

  • ndoldman

    functionally Illiterate does that include finances too, we elected that also, look at the bright side there is a movement to subsidize DD individuals a collage ed, detroit is going to have another source of tax moneys

  • opinionated

    Only 47%…. if the only spokesman they can some up with “to represent” is Eminem… then this does not surprise me…. isn’t this the place where the weed smokers go the park everyday at lunch and chase down some smoke with some beer.. Thank god for bailouts and Unions!!

    • opinionated

      Roy Robert from GM and Reliant Equity Investors (what no education background) will take over a school district that has battled financial problems arising in part because of declining enrollment. Detroit has lost about 100,000 students since 1997, when enrollment stood at 175,168. It has about 74,000 students now. They currently have a 1.2 billion dollar a year budget, there are 15,000 teachers, 89% of the students attended head start and 47% are illiterate… Is this not a crime?

      • awfulorv

        Your figures mean each teacher has less then five pupils. I’m even more appalled. There’s been conjecture, to this point but, can we all now agree that Detroit has won over Cleveland, and is now the Official eight hundred pound Gorilla of the United States?

      • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

        They never fixed the major problem in that city, which has gotten much worse. Crime—and it’s gotten so bad and the budget situation so dire that patrols are being triaged.

  • Jamermorrow

    I have been to Detroit and it feels like you are in Somalia or some other third world country.

    • awfulorv

      Damn those Southern Plantation owners… Damn them to Hell

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZA3GZSKEP36IWDC2NB6DQTSSIQ Will Hunt

    Detroit is no different than Washington DC, Atlanta, Honolulu or any other city run by liberals. They are illiterates who vote for any democrat who promises them a handout.

    • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

      Honolulu isn’t the case. However, DC is a perfect example, in that both cities provide an environment not conducive to basic learning. Why? Crime goes hand-in-hand with hindering the ability to learn.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZA3GZSKEP36IWDC2NB6DQTSSIQ Will Hunt

        There are lots of illiterates in Honolulu. One posts here on SAB 24/7.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        He’s letting his personal jealousy corrupt his “intellectual honesty”, obviously we can see by his response that he has neither.

        • 2hotel9

          Cut&paste and spell check are tranni’s friends! Without them he would just be posting random strings of letters.

  • DopeyDem

    One has to wonder, if you can’t read how can you figure out how to vote for? Is this the part where they walk into the voting booth with you?

  • banjo kid

    We have a literacy rate of 99% in the USA. Atlanta being in the top tier

  • http://freemlmtraining4u.com John

    I guess we should blame it on Bush.

  • awfulorv

    Are you aware that approximately fifty square blocks of downtown Los Angeles are over run with Homeless people? That’s blocks, like those things your home sits on. Illegals, Drug Addicts, and sellers, criminals, Drunks, Prostitutes, Anarchistic Protesters, and their children. Like Detroit, these areas could use a good dose of Bulldozing, I’m thinking.

  • awfulorv

    It had to happen,didn’t it? A Detroit family, bent on seeing Disneyworld, arrived at Mount Rushmore, by mistake, yesterday. The inability to read a newly purchased atlas, refusal to ask directions from vendors along the way, and confusing traffic signs on the highway, contributed to the error, said driver Willie T. Lonsom-Rangler. “Instead of Green, them damn signs should be Yellow, and I want someone to pay for all that gas and KFC we had to buy, because of their mistakes”, demanded Mr. Lomson-Rangler. Citizens of Rapid City, possibly visualizing a future drain on city, and county funds, have contributed over eleven hundred dollars for gas money, which combined with Mr. Lonsom-Rangler’s expected winnings at a local casino, is deemed sufficient to insure the family will make it, at least, to Minneapolis, where a welcoming celebration is, at the moment, being planned. ” A fine Mothers day trip this has turned out to be” intoned his wife Chatarise. “He’s gonna pay for this, they tell me there’s some fine Bracelets and Broaches at Wall Drug, and I’m gonna get me some”

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Haha, is that from the Onion?

      • awfulorv

        That’s from Studakota, glad you thought it humorous. Hanni’s going to love it..