The NRS began in the 1990s, during the trend towards greater accountability for educational and employment programs. In 1993, through the Government Performance and Review Act (GPRA), all Federal agencies were required to develop strategic plans to demonstrate that they are reaching their goals.
In 1995, citing a lack of data on program effectiveness, the adult education program was threatened with integration into a general system of workforce development. In response, the State directors of adult education asked the Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) to develop a national system for collecting data on adult education student outcomes.
At the national DAEL meeting held in March 1997, adult education stakeholders validated the framework and identified outcome measures for a new national reporting system for adult education (NRS). A collaborative effort was undertaken to develop the NRS during 1997-1998. After the passage of Workforce Investment Act (WIA), NRS became mandatory. Implementation of the NRS began in 1999 and continued to be refined over the next couple of years. In 2000, states began submitting their student and program outcomes to DAEL. Current NRS activities focus on perfecting the system to demonstrate program effectiveness and improve student outcomes.
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