Cuyahoga County’s Literacy Crisis

Data shows the pervasive, county-wide challenge of young children and adults without the skills needed to succeed

Cuyahoga County’s literacy crisis will persist for generations unless progress is accelerated in preparing young children for kindergarten and helping more adult residents secure at least a high school education.

An assessment of the state of literacy in Cuyahoga County done by The Literacy Cooperative found:

  • 42% of all children enrolling in kindergarten in the 2018-19 school year weren’t adequately prepared to succeed
  • More than half of Cuyahoga’s children unprepared for kindergarten are enrolling in suburban school districts

Kindergarten Readiness (2018-2019)

Children unprepared for kindergarten are less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade ‑ a predictor of later success in school.

And adults without a high school diploma lack the basic literacy and other skills required to access in-demand jobs that offer paths to prosperity.

Low literacy levels pervade all of Cuyahoga County. For example:

  • 10% of all adults, or 101,221 residents, don’t have a high school diploma as of 2017
  • Nearly 40% of those without a high school diploma are ages 18-44
  • 58% of adults (18-44) without a high school diploma live in the city of Cleveland
  • More than half of the young adults (18-24) without a diploma live in the suburbs

Adults without a High School Diploma

 

Read the full dashboard here: TLC (Footnoted) Literacy in Cuyahoga Assessment

National Skills Coalition selects Ohio Workforce Coalition to Join State Policy Advocacy Network

The National Skills Coalition has selected the Ohio Workforce Coalition to join SkillSPAN, a nationwide network of non-partisan coalitions focused on advancing state policies that expand economic opportunities for workers and their families while boosting local businesses’ capacity. The Ohio Workforce Coalition joins the original 10 founding states and will receive a $25,000 grant to advance work throughout 2020.

The Ohio Workforce Coalition brings three major goals to SkillSPAN, including building the skills of adult workers, working to meet the skill needs of employers, and strengthening the entire workforce system. Through this partnership, the Coalition will be better suited to accomplish its goals and build educational and career pathways for all Ohioans.

As Director, Rebecca Kusner will lead this initiative and guide the Coalition’s members to advocate, educate, and innovate as we assure the availability of a job-ready workforce, increase effectiveness of programs serving Ohio’s employers, and improve Ohio’s workforce development programs. “Since 2007, the Ohio Workforce Coalition has been the leading voice for adult workforce issues in Ohio. I’m thrilled that we are able to join this network and take our work to the next level,” said Kusner. “With The National Skills Coalition’s support, we will build our platform, grow stakeholder engagement, and consider the long-term future of our Coalition.”

The Literacy Cooperative has been selected to serve as the interim fiscal agent for the Coalition. Laureen Atkins, vice president of Strategic Initiatives, is on the Leadership Committee of the Ohio Workforce Coalition and assists with the policy priorities, strategy, and activities. Other Leadership Committee members can be found on our website at www.ohioworkforcecoalition.org.

The Literacy Cooperative’s 2019 2Gen Summit

Energetic conversations filled the room Friday, May 24th, as The Literacy Cooperative hosted the 2nd Annual 2Gen Summit to support whole family literacy. The 2Gen approach to literacy aligns and coordinates services for children, parents, and caregivers because research continually shows that a parent’s education level dramatically affects the educational success of their children. This […]

Can-Do Guides to Literacy

Bob Paponetti and Laureen Atkins are members of The Open Door Collective’s (ODC) Labor & Workforce Development Issues Group. The group has issued a series of “Can-Do” Guides for various stakeholders (e.g., employers, labor unions, prisoner re-entry agencies, universities, and others).

Each guide explains why adult basic skills are important for the individuals with whom that stakeholder works (e.g., employees, union members, former inmates) and how that stakeholder can work with adult basic education providers to strengthen and expand basic skills development services in their community and state. Please read and share the guides.

ODC is dedicated to reshaping U.S. society to have dramatically less poverty and economic inequality and more civic engagement and participation in all our society has to offer. ODC members believe that adult basic skills education and lifelong learning programs can help open the doors of opportunity for everyone to healthier, more prosperous and satisfying lives. Visit http://www.opendoorcollective.org/ to learn more.

Can-Do Guides to Literacy

What Re-Entry Services Can Do to Strengthen the Basic Skills of Former Inmates

What Labor Educators Can Do to Strengthen the Basic Skills of Our Workforce

What Universities Can Do to Strengthen U.S. Adult Basic Skills Efforts

What Forward-Thinking Employers Can Do to Strengthen the Basic Skills of Our Workforce