Long-Awaited PIAAC Response Report Resurfaces

In case you missed it, this morning the White House announced the latest round of TAACCCT grantees. If you read the entire release, you may have noticed this curious related announcement:

In addition, the Department of Education is releasing a new report on the importance of building foundational skills in a job-specific context.

Ø  Department of Education Report on Transform Adult Learning through Work. The Department of Education is releasing a new report with recommendations to transform adult learning in the United States. After months of public engagement with a variety of stakeholders around the country, the recommendations for public-private partnership include strategies that engage employers to support upskilling of more entry-level workers while on the job, encourage the use of assessments and innovative learning tools to improve access to targeted career guidance for youth and adults, and promote better alignment and coordination of public and private programs so that youth and adults experience seamless services. The report highlights unique opportunities for implementing these recommendations as a result of the changed legislative environment made possible by the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July 2014.

I confirmed today with Department staff that the report referenced above is the long-awaited PIAAC response report or action plan that was announced last fall and then previewed at last spring’s adult education state directors meeting  However, contrary to the White House statement, the report was not in fact released today. It is finished but still in the “awaiting clearance” stage. No one could give me a date for actual release but the expectation is that it will be out sometime this fall. I know a lot of us in the field were wondering about the status of this report—some were speculating it might not ever be released—so I thought it was worth mentioning. It lives!


Final Round of TAACCCT Grants Will Reportedly De-emphasize Use of Funds for Remediation

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the final round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants.

This round will include some significant changes to the program, including, reportedly, a de-emphasis on remediation. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the President and Vice President are headed to Pennsylvania today to speak about revised criteria later today at the Community College of Allegheny County.

According to the Post-Gazette, applicants for this round “will need to show a direct correlation between their funding requests and job placement” and that “some programs that have been funded in the past, such as remedial education courses, could have a harder time winning approval.” (my emphasis)

From a White House source who was not willing to be named, for some reason:

“Some of the community colleges have used the money in past rounds to do some of the things we’re talking about but others have used it for remediation,” one top White House official said. Under the new criteria they will have to use it to “actually make the endpoint of someone being able to get a job and a career,” he said. (my emphasis)