Ohio EFF

Ohio Research Team 2000
February 5, 2001

Washington, D.C. - Five Ohio Research Field Sites out of twenty-five national adult education programs received certificates of recognition from the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) and the U.S. Department of Education's Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL).

The certificates honor the programs' contributions to a national research project to create a stronger national accountability system for adult education programs. The project addresses a major challenge that has long faced adult educators - how to accurately measure and report results that matter in adult's lives.

The certificates were awarded Monday, February 5, at a mid-year meeting of the Joint Equipped for the Future (EFF)/National Reporting System (NRS) Data Collection Project. The project aims to build strong linkages between EFF Content Standards and the NRS to ensure that student achievement in EFF content areas can be measured in ways that meet WIA reporting requirements. Participating research sites were selected by NIFL and five partners: Maine, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.

EFF, NIFL's standards based system reform initiative, has identified 16 Content Standards that reflect the core knowledge and skills adults need to carry out their roles as parents, workers, and citizens. The content standards are now being used by adult literacy programs in more than 25 states to guide instruction and assessment. The NRS, developed by DAEL, responds to the program accountability requirements of the Workforce Investment Act.

In thanking programs for the time and effort contributed to this process, Ronald Pugsley, Director of DAEL, said, "We hope and expect that this project will lead to new assessment tools to measure learner progress, and assure the inclusion of EFF results in the NRS, so that we can tell a more complete story about how our programs contribute to national goals."

NIFL Director Andrew Hartman told the honorees, "I am excited about the progress of this work and about the commitment of our state and program partners. We could not be making this contribution to the field without your willingness to invest time and resources in helping us understand what performance looks like for adult learners at every point along the continuum - from novice to expert."

Hartman noted that many of the programs present had also participated in the critical work of identifying the 16 EFF standards that represent the essential knowledge and skills adults need to function effectively in their roles as parents, citizens, and workers.

"The work we are engaged in now, however, is the most rigorous and demanding," said Hartman. "It focuses on developing a picture of what adult performance looks like as a whole - not just the traditional basics of reading, writing, and math, but also the new basics - problem-solving, teamwork, using technology, and learning strategies - that are key to success in the workplace today.

"Participating teachers and program administrators are grappling with complex research on how people learn and using it to construct lessons and collect data that will increasingly enable us to measure our success in helping adults develop the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the world."

Hartman applauded the fact that the current project is the joint effort of NIFL and DAEL. "Our joint funding and support for this project means that the work we are doing can really move the whole field forward. We're convinced that students, educators, policymakers, and the public will all benefit from our collaborative efforts."

The project is being conducted by the Center for Literacy Studies, University of Tennessee-Knoxville. For more information about the Ohio Research project, contact Judy Franks at 330.672.0753 or jfranks@literacy.kent.edu


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