published its final report, Reach Higher America: Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce, in June, 2008.
REACH HIGHER, AMERICA, the report of the National Commission on Adult Literacy, was released at a public event in Washington, DC, on June 26. The report documents the adult education and skills crisis facing American workers, proposes a fundamentally new approach to adult basic education and workforce skills preparation in America, and lays out the fiscal and social benefits that will result from substantially increased public expenditures for programs and services. Focus is on the need of the unemployed, low-skilled incumbent workers, immigrants with limited or no English, parents or caregivers with low basic skills, incarcerated adults, high school dropouts, and high school graduates not adequately prepared for college.
Among other things, the Commission recommends transforming the current system, which reaches about 3 million adults annually, into an adult education and workforce skills system with the capacity to enroll 20 million adults by the year 2020 and a mission of moving adults to readiness for postsecondary education and job training. The report offers a kind of “domestic Marshall plan” for meeting workforce education needs-including bold recommendations for state government, business and labor, philanthropy, and the general public. A clear message of the report is that unless the nation gives much higher priority to the basic educational needs of the workforce-adults 16 and older beyond the reach of the schools-America’s standard of living, its status as a leading world power, and its very social fabric will be further eroded. This important report and various related materials are available in PDF from the Commission’s website.
Instructions are given there for purchase of hard copies.