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Literacy Statistics

  • Minnesota’s high school graduation rate is 33rd in the U.S., with students of color graduating at a very low rate (MN Dept. of Ed. 2016).


  • 74% of the jobs in Minnesota will require some post-secondary education by 2020 (Georgetown University, 2014).


  • Advanced reading, writing and verbal communication competencies are the most valued skills in the marketplace today (Occupational Information Network, 2013).


  • 26% of Minnesota community college students and 49% of university students complete programs within an extended time frame. Besides financial need, lack of academic preparation (reading, writing, math) significantly impacts post-secondary degree, license, or certificate completion (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Report to the Legislature, 2016).


  • 54% of eighth-graders and 52% of twelfth-graders nationally performed at the basic level in writing in 2011. 3% of these students performed at the advanced level (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2012).


  • At the schools Reader/Writer works with, the reading proficiency rates ranges from 14.5 to 26.4, with immigrants and refugee students at the bottom. (St. Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools’ websites).


  • 85% of juvenile offenders are non-proficient in reading; 3 out of 5 people in prisons can’t read; 50% of Americans are functionally illiterate. For those who double their literacy rate, their per capita  income rate also doubles (National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, and the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016).


  • The literacy rate in the U.S. hasn’t changed in 10 years (Literacy Project Foundation, 2016).


  • Approximately 50% of Minnesota students said they are connected to a caring adult in the community (MN Department of Education, 2016).