Education: Mass Assault

One out of ten adult Americans sees most printed words as mere squiggly lines, and is, to U.S. census takers, a "functional illiterate." One such is Nara High, 64. of Durham, N.C. Instead of going to school, she went to work at eight in a textile mill, now lives alone in retirement, mostly watching television. "Oh, I would love to write my name," says she. "It would mean so much."

This week Nara High's precious TV set becomes more than a soporific as she and 53 other Durham illiterates prepare for an exciting venture. At...

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