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K-12 Education

U.S. Literacy Rate

February 13, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 7

I’m a longtime member of ACS and reader of C&EN. It is an excellent magazine; it’s well researched, well written, and interesting. Thank you for your work on it.

I just read the letter from Eldon H. Sund (C&EN, Dec. 12, 2011, page 2) claiming that the U.S. illiteracy rate is 20%. The CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html) states that the U.S. literacy rate is 99%, making the illiteracy rate 1%. I’m surprised that a fact like this was not checked by your excellent staff.

By Andy Babij
Livingston, N.J.

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