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Adult Education in America: A First Look at Results from the Adult Education Program and Learner Surveys AEPS ESL

Tamassia, Claudia; Lennon, Mary Louise; Yamamoto, Kentaro; Kirsch, Irwin S.
Publication Year:
ETS Adult Education Program Study Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adult Education, Adult Literacy, Numeracy, Adult Education Program Survey (AEPS), English as a Second Language (ESL), Hispanic Education


The Adult Education Program Study (AEPS) was conducted to provide comprehensive information about federally funded adult education programs and the skills of participants enrolled in those programs. The study had two primary goals. The first was to gather and disseminate information about the programs that constitute the adult education system in the United States. The second was to assess and report on the literacy and numeracy skills of a nationally representative sample of adults who participated in those programs. The results from the AEPS provide a comprehensive picture of federally supported adult education activities in the United States during the 2001-2002 program year. This picture includes a description of adult education programs, a profile of the learners that are being served by these programs, and an analysis of how their performance compared with that of the general adult population in the United States. In addition, a representative sample of Hispanic learners was randomly assigned to either an English or Spanish version of the assessment to investigate the extent to which the testing language influenced performance on the literacy tasks. Sponsored by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the AEPS represented a collaborative effort. The study was designed and conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Westat, Inc., working in conjunction with staff from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education and the National Center for Education Statistics.

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