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History of the NRS < About NRS< Home

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.

Read about the initial steps in the process of developing the NRS

icon: PDF Report of the Pilot Test for the National Reporting System (September 1999 - archived)
This report describes the results of the pilot test, which was the second phase of the NRS project to assess whether the draft measure definitions work or need refinement, as well as the costs, burden, and other difficulties in collecting the data using the proposed methodologies.


 icon: PDF  Developing a National Outcome Reporting System for the Adult Education Program (March 1997 - archived)
This review of existing and planned accountability systems includes outcome measures relevant to adult education students and describes many of the major issues that must be resolved to establish an outcome-based reporting system.


Learn more about NRS by taking an online training course - What is the NRS? (Users will be required to log in to access this course.)


Follow this link to learn more about file formats, file viewers, and support for the visually impaired.

The National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS) is administered by the Division of Adult Education and Literacy in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.