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Targeting Education: The Connecticut Basic Skills Survey 1997

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Adult basic education programs are facing significant challenges in meeting the diverse needs of today's and tomorrow's workforce. They must respond to increasing pressures to serve more learners, and to educate them at much higher levels with limited resources. They are also asked to meet an increasing demand to provide solid accountability based on clear learning outcomes for all learners who participate in educational programs.

In order to respond effectively to these challenges, all stakeholders must agree on the competencies that adults need to know to be able to function effectively as family members, in the workforce, and in the community. Clear standards of educational attainment need to be identified for these competencies, and valid and reliable assessments must be put in place to document progress toward and attainment of the competencies.

This study provides a solid basis for identifying priority competencies for all learners in Connecticut's adult basic education programs. It is significant and unique because it reflects the perspectives of business and industry providers, learners, instructional service providers, and state agency and public service providers. It also addresses the need to collaborate with other agencies and institutions serving adults and to address societal needs, including parenting, civic responsibilities, and employment participation. The competencies identified in this study provide the necessary baseline data to develop relevant curriculum and instruction to meet these new and emerging needs.

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