Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:14 am
Education is necessary if democracy is to flourish. What good is the free flow of information if people can't make sense of it? How can you vote your own interests if you don't understand the consequences of policy choices? How can you know what's best for you or your community?
This is the second report in a four-part series on adult education.
Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.
Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.
This is the first report of a four-part series on adult education.
The national debate around education usually focuses on childrenin school. But there are 30 million adults in the U.S. who have trouble with basic literacy — they struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule.
It also means it's difficult for them to get and hold onto the most basic jobs.