How does your state use NRS data to improve program quality or learner outcomes?

Hello program management, teaching, integrating technology, and assessment colleagues,

Every state, and the District of Columbia, gets federal funding from the federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, requires that states and WIOA-funded adult education programs or adult schools comply with National Reporting System (NRS) regulations. You may already know that. Perhaps, as a program manager, you also know that the outcomes data that you report to your state adult education agency is sent to to the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education. However, you may or may not know if, and if so, how your state adult education agency analyzes and uses the NRS data collected from programs and adult schools. Granted, there may be limitations on the usefulness of the data. It is annual, not a longitudinal picture of what the impact of participation is in adult basic skills education programs or schools. It reports learning gains as measured by standardized  pre- and post-tests, and some believe that standardized tests neither capture the full range of adult learner education outcomes, nor the impact of instruction over time. Nevertheless, some states have analyzed their data and have some interesting findings. Does yours?

For example, there are several years of analysis of NRS state data from Texas that compare completion rates for those who attended classes in a traditional way, those who participated in distance learning, and those who participated in hybrid learning, a combination of face-to-face and online learning.  Below are some statewide student completion findings over eight years from Texas that compare these three different ways to deliver adult basic skills education services:

Texas TEAMS annual data comparing completion rates for hybrid, distance and traditional face-to-face classroom learners

  •  “In 2009-2010, 66% of hybrid learners completed at least on[e] level, compared to 53% each for distance and traditional classroom learners.”

  • “In 2010-2011, 76% of hybrid learners had level completions, compared to 60% each for distance and traditional learners.”

  • In 2011-2012, hybrid learners “still had the highest percentage of completion (73%), but distance learners outperformed traditional classroom learners for the first time (60% for traditional classroom learners; 66% for primarily online learners).”

  • In 2014-2015 hybrid learners still had the highest percentage of completion (71%) compared with distance learners at 66%, and face-to-face learners at 50%

  • In 2015-2016 63% of hybrid learners, 53% of distance learners and only 42% of face-to-face learners completed

  • In 2016-2017 61% of hybrid, 57% of distance, and 40% of face-to-face learners completed.

  • In 2017-2018 57% of hybrid learners, 47% of distance learners, and 37% of face-to-face learners completed

  • In 2018-2019 41% of hybrid learners, 35% of distance learners, and 26% of face-to-face learners completed


A post by Glenda Lynn Rose to the LINCS ELL Community of Practice on December 16, 2014  and

Rose, Glenda L., Wang, C., Sainz, Z and Joshi, S. “Technology Use and Integration in Adult Education and Literacy Classrooms Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning, Texas A&M University”  2019. Copy provided by author, Dr. Glenda Lynn Rose.

Let's hear from you about how your state adult education agency may use the NRS data it collects to inform state adult basic skills education staff, and/or adult basic skills education program or adult school staff.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Program Management and Integrating Technology groups