Thumbs down: Lacking Literacy
Some the challenges our city faces in terms of cultural competency and civic engagement may be linked to its literacy, or lack thereof, a new study suggests. "America's Most Literate Cities,"
an annual ranking of literacy among cities with at least 250,000 people, placed Indianapolis (the nation's 11th most-populous city) No. 39 on the list
, steady with its ranking last year, but a significant drop from the No. 23 position it held in 2005. Washington, D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis are perennial chart toppers. Factors considered in the ranking include: number of bookstores, educational attainment, Internet resources, library resources, periodical publishing resources, and newspaper circulation. "This set of factors measures people's use of their literacy and thus presents a large-scale portrait of our nation's cultural vitality," wrote study author John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University. He added that a city's ranking is not what matters most, "but what communities do to promote the kinds of literacy practices that the data track."