A report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows a slight increase in the percentage of Iowans who can’t read English. The study looks at figures from 1992-to-2003. Helene Grossman, director of the state’s adult literacy program, sees nothing in the report that’s alarming.
Grossman says, "The percent of people lacking basic prose literacy skills increased slightly from 6.9% to 7.5% of the population in Iowa, and Iowa still has one of the lowest rates of illiteracy in basic English prose in the U.S." She says, if anything, the report shows the state is doing well in teaching all Iowans to read.
The Iowa counties with the highest rates of illiteracy were those with large non-English speaking populations. Buena Vista County, home to Storm Lake, for example, is estimated to have 13%of its population unable to read English.