NRS eNotes

May 2012   

Welcome to the May 2012 NRS eNotes!

Every few months NRS eNotes highlight additions and attractions of the NRSWeb site, as well as inform you of any upcoming events. Forward this on to other adult education staff in your state and encourage others to sign up to eNotes by emailing!

NRS Regional Training: Summer 2012


The Division of Adult Education and Literacy, U.S. Department of Education, invites state adult education staff to attend Going Longitudinal: Building an Adult Education Longitudinal Data System. This workshop is the eleventh annual regional training designed to promote the quality and use of data collected under the National Reporting System (NRS) for Adult Education. This year’s workshop aims to help guide states into the world of longitudinal data systems (LDS) and is intended for state adult education staff interested in learning about and participating in the development of an LDS in their state. Participants will learn about the Federal objectives, resources, and requirements; share information about their states’ longitudinal systems; define their objectives and data elements for an adult education longitudinal data system in their state; and develop an action plan to achieve that system. Contact your state director of adult education for information about how to register for this training; only designees of the state director may register.

2012 NRS Product Showcase

Over the last eight years, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has developed many products and services to assist states in meeting NRS requirements. The 2012 NRS Product Showcase is now available on NRSweb, and features the many resources available for states.

NRS Visits a New York Literacy Zone

NRS project staff visited the Syracuse School District’s three Literacy Zone sites on a recent technical assistance visit in March 2012. New York funds 18 Literacy Zones, which offer a case management approach along with adult education instruction. Case managers ensure students receive the services they need to succeed in class, using a network of coordinated city services. Our trip included a visit to the Literacy Zone in the city jail, which offers innovative online instruction using Learner Web. Learn more about the New York State Literacy Zones at: Pictured here in the back row are (L to R) Janna Keefe, Valerie Dorfer, Kathryn Lent,Larry Condelli, Javier Garcia, and in the front row (L to R) Nerissa Godbolt, Dahlia Shaewitz, Jacqueline McMullen, Jessica Noboa.

ELC update

The NRS Evaluation Learning Community (ELC) began in December 2011 with a 2-day training for nine states selected based on their applications to conduct research using NRS and other data.  The nine states are focused on research within the topics of Professional Development, Learning and Persistence, and Postsecondary as follows:


Alabama is gathering information about the professional development (PD) offerings around the state through program and teacher surveys to create a baseline of information for building a comprehensive PD program.


Arizona has the first of three cohorts underway for evaluating the three approaches to instruction—TET, computer model and classroom-based. Data will be available in May.


Illinois is using its data system to make comparisons and learn which types of classes result in the greatest retention and learning.  The Illinois team will be running its first set of analyses in the spring.


Iowa is investigating the characteristics of adult education students who achieve postsecondary credentials to help determine how to most effectively appropriate funds. The state identified the population for the study and preliminary analysis is underway.


Kentucky is evaluating a college-readiness initiative by matching the college-readiness counties to counties not implementing the initiative and will then compare student outcomes between those two groups. Analyses will be completed by summer, 2012.


Michigan is revising their evaluation plan to look at student learning gains and retention for students in traditional and distance education classes. Also, they will examine whether attendance is related to level gains.


Maryland has conducted an online survey of programs’ PD and expenditures and is collecting data on learner gains; data analysis will begin this spring.


New York has formed a partnership with community colleges and adult education providers to conduct a study of alternatives to the GED test for assessing basic and college-ready levels of competence. Data collection is underway.

Texas will examine teacher variables and student assessment data to determine the effectiveness of the Texas teacher credential; data analysis will begin in the fall after all data are collected.

At the end of this one-year project, each state will be asked to present the results of their study to the field. Look for information at the end of 2012 for information about those webinars to learn about the results of these state research projects

Planning a New Data System - Have You Thought of Everything?

If a new or revised NRS data system is in your future, our latest online course may help you plan for success. This course takes you through a process for identifying needs, recognizing key challenges, and preparing for key elements of your planning, implementation, and launch process. Integrated planning worksheets help you apply the course’s content to your state’s specific needs. The course functions as a data systems tutor to help you ask the right questions when preparing for your next big project.  




Which is the best definition of a longitudinal data system?

  1. An NRS data system that tracks student outcomes over a 10 year period.
  2. A system that reports aggregate measures of program success for K-12, adult education, workforce, and postsecondary education.
  3. A system that maintains student records data for individuals at every stage of their education and training to support case  management, research, and policy decisions.
  4. A data system that has a long track record of providing error-free reports.


Your Feedback

Do you have an idea for new NRS Tips or NRS FastFacts? Or a suggestion for a future training? Do you have questions about where to find information on the NRS or the redesigned NRSWeb site? Send an email to - we are always on the lookout for your feedback!

AIR LogoNRS eNotes is produced through Contract ED-VAE-10-O-0107, Enhancing and Strengthening Accountability in Adult Education, which is administered by the Division of Adult Education and Literacy in the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.