While the national conversation about education would never be the same, stunningly few of the Commission’s recommendations actually have been enacted. Now is not the time for more educational research or reports or commissions. We have enough commonsense ideas, backed by decades of research, to significantly improve American schools. The missing ingredient isn’t even educational at all. It’s political. Too often, state and local leaders have tried to enact reforms of the kind recommended in A Nation at Risk only to be stymied by organized special interests and political inertia. Without vigorous national leadership to improve education, states and local school systems simply cannot overcome the obstacles to making the big changes necessary to significantly improve our nation’s K-12 schools (Wikipedia)
Literacy is a vague term that is often misapplied by politicians and academic pundits, without forgetting students who falsely believe that the ability to decode letters on a written page is the equivalent skill. We teachers often criticize the new generation’s reluctance to read “good” books; or any book for that matter, for I have visited quite a few homes completely bereft of written text, save for the occasional newspaper. I much prefer the term, for the last example, of functional illiterate people; that is, humans who have learned how to speak, read and write (in that order), but who simply “forget” their lessons and stop polishing their literate skills.