Literacy is viewed as one of the most important qualities of an individual. It’s seen as one of many stereotypes in society. Someone who is illiterate is judges as stupid, useless, and maybe even juvenile. Like literacy historian, Debbrah Brandt, says: “Illiteracy is the road to crime”. Even George Bush agrees that, in the 21st century, you won’t be able to stand a chance in today’s society. As much as I would like to say that I disagree, I kind of have to agree with it. If you can’t even do simple reading and comprehension, how can you participate in simple activities such as ordering off a menu or using road signs? As for the No Child Left Behind program, on one hand you think it’s a great idea with a lot of great potential, but on the other hand it could be seen as hurting the kids. If kids are a lot like myself, they will feel very pressured by all of the standardized testing and their scores could be affected by that, making them feel hopeless.
Throughout the years, literacy has changed. In my opinion, literacy has always been considered important but maybe on different levels. Years ago, few people were literate but those who were, were seen as important and sophisticated people. Now being literate is supposedly so common that if you aren’t literate, it’s see as a negative thing. Even Socrates thought that too many people being literate was a dangerous thing. Other cultures may have different forms of literacy or different levels than we are used to. Especially cultures with a very oral background. Being able to become educated from oral stories in some cultures was considered as literate. In our country, being literate is one of the most important things and it’s not always the same case in other countries and cultures which is probably why we stress so much in schools on having ESOL programs.