OVAE Announces Engagement Process in Response to PIAAC Results

OVAE Announces Engagement Process in Response to PIAAC Results


On Nov. 12, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says, which is based on the survey from the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies, (PIAAC). The release was part of an event at the Center for American Progress, Boosting Adult Educational Skills Can Grow the Middle Class.

In response to the report and the findings that show that the U.S. has a significant low-skilled workforce challenge, Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, announced an engagement process to understand these challenges, inform the development of a national response, and gather input from a wide range of stakeholders. The goal of the process is to develop a national plan for improving the foundation skills of low-skilled adults in the U.S.

The first step in that process occurred on Nov. 20 with an event hosted by the Department to examine the PIAAC findings in more depth. This was followed by a response from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and a panel with federal agency representatives and national organizations representing state and local perspectives. Participants engaged in small group discussions to share their perspectives on what the findings mean for their stakeholders and interests.

OVAE will continue to host engagement events around the country, seeking input from individuals, state and education officials, business, industry, policy, and labor leaders, researchers, data experts, education associations, philanthropies, and others concerned with the health and well-being of democracy in America.

These events are intended to solicit, in particular, the country’s best ideas and most creative thinking to addresses the following themes:

  • Expanding opportunities for adults to improve foundation skills by scaling up proven practices and using emerging technologies to personalize and accelerate learning for America’s low-skilled working population.
  • Building stronger partnerships among business, industry, labor, state and local governments, and others, in order to sustain the nation’s workforce capacity, economic vitality, and democratic values.
  • Strengthening the connection between foundation skills and workforce readiness in ways that help adults gain basic skills, particularly in the STEM fields, and pursue specific occupations and credentials more rapidly.

OVAE will use the feedback to develop the national plan to improve the skills of low-skilled adults. Continue following OVAE Connection and the OVAE Blog for more information about this adult skills outreach initiative.