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The linked article shows that literacy in 1910 was almost 99%.
Isn't that shocking? Didn’t you assume it was much worse? Our Education Establishment tells us every day how difficult reading is and how children can’t learn without another billion added to the budget.
Most people have a shadowy sense of how good or bad things were in 1950 or 1900. It’s almost as if someone went around destroying evidence.
A guy on the Internet complained that he couldn’t find literacy records circa 1940. He was sure he had seen an article stating that before World War II literacy was very high. Suddenly the reference had vanished.
In fact, there are people who would not want you to see such an article. They want you to think literacy was just as messed up in 1935 as it is today.
Note that phonics experts, even though they disagree on many details, pretty much always insist that the process shouldn't take more than four or five months. That's the gold standard and we should never let the Education Establishment get away with underperforming in this critical area.
K-12: History of the Conspiracy Against Reading