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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen again cites the facts.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

The decline in college graduate’s literacy reported by

the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (“Literacy

falls for graduates from college, testing finds,” Dec.

16) may be related to the shift in majors over the

last decade, with more students majoring in business,

computer science and visual and performing arts.

The study also reported overall gains in one aspect of

literacy (quantitative literacy) and no change in

prose and document literacy in the last ten years.

Also, young people (age 24 and under) did just as well

in 2003 as their counterparts did ten years ago.

Nothing in this report supports Whitehurst’s claim

that young people are giving up reading in favor of TV

and surfing the net.

Note: Data on college majors can be found at:


Stephen Krashen

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