The Nation: How Many Incompetents?

The stereotypical definition of "illiteracy" has been the simple inability to read and write. But how many Americans are there who lack, as a Government study put it rather harshly last week, "those skills and knowledges which are requisite to adult competence"? The projection provided by the U.S. Office of Education: more than 23 million, or about one adult in five.

Some specifics from an in-depth survey of 1,500 Americans, designed by a University of Texas team:

> 20% of those surveyed did not know the meaning of the sign: "We are an Equal Opportunity Employer."

> 14% could not properly write a bank...

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