Literacy impacts all aspects of modern life. For individuals, it is the foundation for academic, financial, and life success; for nations, it is key to a healthy democracy and a flourishing economy. Adults with poor literacy skills are less successful in school, work less, and are unemployed longer. They require more social assistance and are more frequently in poorer health. Moreover, it is clear that the economic and social importance of literacy skills is increasing as our nation and workforce face increased global competition.