Education: The New Illiterates

U.S. citizens last week engaged in a lively debate over the extent of the nation's illiteracy. Bogging down in a mire of statistics, the debate proved mainly that most Americans can read & write better than they can figure.

President Roosevelt started it by announcing what he considered shocking news: that 433,000 Class 1-A draft registrants had flunked the Army's literacy test (TIME, June 8). Nodding gravely, Columbia University's Professor Emeritus William C. Bagley, editor of School and Society, pronounced the figures "deplorable and discouraging." But the New York Times's silver-lined Columnist Simeon Strunsky observed that it was not as bad as...

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