The Americans who can't read
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The Americans who can't read

The US has more citizens who are illiterate - some 16 million people - than many of its developed counterparts. Why is that?

Many complain that the system fails those who need extra help and there is a big disparity between rich and poor areas.

Being illiterate prevents people from getting jobs. But it is not only that.

Peggy Fleming, who lives in Kentucky, one of the worst-performing states, said she wanted to set an example for her children by being able to read and write. "I wanted to be a better mum," she says.

Aleem Maqbool reports for the BBC's America First? series.

Video by Franz Strasser; produced by Ashley Semler

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