Data from PIAAC (the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies), released in 2013, found that 36 million Americans have low literacy skills, including nearly 24 million who are part of the workforce. In addition, nearly 46 million Americans struggle with numeracy. To address the need to connect more low-skilled adults with learning opportunities, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education has released a new report, Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States. The National Coalition for Literacy contributed extensive feedback to OCTAE during the making of this report.
OCTAE has also produced a recorded video announcement about the report from Acting Assistant Secretary Johan E. Uvin. See also this post, co-authored by Assistant Secretary Uvin and U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell: “The Importance of Transforming Adult Learning.”
According to OCTAE, Making Skills Everyone’s Business offers seven strategies, “grounded in evidence and informed by effective and emerging practices,” that hold promise for “improving the conditions that create and perpetuate poor literacy, numeracy, and problem solving.”
NCL is planning a series of webinars in the coming months (dates and registration information to be announced soon) that will be looking at using the PIAAC data to support adult education advocacy, including discussion of the strategies outlined in this report. In meantime, we urge you to visit our PIAAC resource section.