Enhancing and Strengthening Accountability in Adult Education
Adult Basic and Literacy Education Fact Sheet
Archived Information

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Accountability has been the cornerstone of the national adult education program, since the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was signed into law in 1998. The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II (section 212) of WIA, mandates a performance accountability system for the program. To meet that requirement, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) established the National Reporting System (NRS), an outcome-based reporting system for the State-administered, federally funded adult education program. The NRS continues a cooperative process through which State adult education directors and DAEL manage a reporting system that demonstrates learner outcomes for adult education. It has performed a critical role in assisting the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in setting accountability policy, standardizing assessment procedures, and demonstrating the effectiveness of adult education activities.


This NRS project enhances and strengthens the accountability efforts of state and local programs by promoting the use of valid and reliable data for program management and improvement. In September 2010, a contract was awarded to the American Institutes for Research to support the national performance-based accountability system implemented through the NRS.

Project Milestones

  • On-site technical assistance and training for states.
  • Provide technical support to ED for program data analysis.
  • Maintenance of the NRS project website.
  • Assistance to ED for implementation of the annual NRS assessment review.
  • Establish and convene annual meetings of the NRS technical work group.

Outcomes and Products

  • Regional workshop: Smart Fiscal Management (2011).
  • Regional workshop: Going Longitudinal—Building an Adult Education Longitudinal Data System (2012).
  • Targeted training: Evaluation Learning Community (2011).
  • New online course: Developing an NRS Report Card (2012).
  • New online course: Delivering Adult Education Online (planned first offering 2013-14).
  • Psychometric panel reports for NRS assessment review.
  • Annual training materials and tools available on NRS web site.
  • Revisions to the NRS Implementation Guidelines.
  • Annual Report to Congress.



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Last Modified: 06/25/2013