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Adult Literacy

Research and Reports

NEW: A TIME OF SCARCE RESOURCES: Near Term Priorities in Adult Education
The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) reports on a survey project about highest priority next steps for the adult education field in this time of scarce financial resources.  These include moving more toward high intensity-managed enrollment instruction models, increasing professional/staff development opportunities (even in a time of scarce resources), making much more use of technology, and developing new funding sources, including, as appropriate, some form of fee for service. The other major section of the paper presents a menu of ideas, including a discussion of articulating core curriculum standards and the GED.

NEW: Adult Education Data: 5 Years
Research Allies for Lifelong Learning looked at national enrollment, staffing, and outcomes data for adult education programs. Data were from 2006-07 to 2010-11, the most current years available. Enrollment data tell us about the types of learners who entered programs. Staffing data provide information on staff working in adult education programs. Also, adult learners entering a program may have goals beyond learning basic skills. These goals might include getting or keeping a job. They may want to take the GED® test or go to college. If they meet a goal, they have made an outcome. Data on outcomes tell us how many adult learners meet goals. They can also reveal how outcomes change across time.

 NEW: 2011 Annual Statistical Report on the GED Test
The 2011 GED Testing Program Statistical Report provides data on adults who passed the GED exam. The report gives demographics and GED Tests performance statistics as well as background on the GED testing program.  Learn about the gender, ethnicity, and long-term goals of GED 2011 test-takers.

Changing the Odds: Informing Policy with Research on How Adult Learners Succeed
AIR hosted a Symposium, Changing the Odds: Informing Policy with Research on How Adult Learners Succeed, on September 16, 2009. The panelists and participants discussed innovative solutions and collaborations for supporting today’s low-skilled adult learners and challenges to improving adult education and workforce development outcomes facing the nation.

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla on How to Make Adult Learners More Successful
Heidi Silver-Pacuilla of the American Institutes for Research discusses some barriers to increased economic opportunity and ways to overcome them. The interview was conducted in the AIM studio on May 13, 2010 and is now posted to the YouTube channel, Policy Innovations. Watch it on the right or grab it for your advocacy work from here.

2009 - 2010 Waiting List Data from the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education
The National Council of State Directors of Adult Education surveyed states and territories to determine the demand for adult education and literacy services. Findings:

  1. 50 of the 51 states/territories confirmed students on waiting lists in their state.
  2. 986 of the 1368 (72%) of the local programs reporting confirmed waiting lists.
  3. Some 160,000 potential learners want to access services but cannot.
  4. The number of months on waiting lists has doubled since the 2008 survey.
  5. $160M additional appropriation would begin to erase this waiting list.

Interactive Tool: National Assessment of Adult Literacy: Indirect County and State Estimates of the Percentage of Adults at the Lowest Literacy Level for 1992 and 2003
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has produced estimates of the percentage of adults lacking Basic Prose Literacy Skills (BPLS) for all states and counties in the U.S., the only available snapshot of adult literacy rates at local and state levels. The above link will take you to an interactive web tool which generates the percentages for counties and states. It also allows you to make comparisons between counties, between states, and across years at the county and state levels. Click here for the print version of the full report.

Economic and Noneconomic Outcomes for GED Credential Recipients
Economic and Noneconomic Outcomes for GED Credential Recipients provides evidence on the outcomes of those who earned the GED. On the economic outcomes, this study examines labor force participation, work history, weekly wage, and personal income. On the noneconomic outcomes, this study looks into political and social participation, family literacy, and health. For a full listing of GED Testing Service research and reports, visit the GED Testing Service Research Studies web page.

2008-2009 Annual Report to Congress on State Performance
The Annual Report to Congress details the status of the adult education program authorized under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) in 2008-2009. It includes National Reporting System (NRS) data on how well programs performed nationally and by state. It also contains data on student characteristics.

National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)
The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy is a nationally representative assessment of English literacy among American adults age 16 and up. The NAAL is the nation's most comprehensive measure of adult literacy since the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey  (NALS).



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