Living with It: Federal Policy Implementation in Adult Basic Education

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The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (“welfare reform”) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) have influenced greatly the provision of services in adult basic education (ABE). WIA and welfare reform provide two excellent cases for the study of questions related to how federal legislation affects ABE practice at the program and classroom level. This study gathered data from six states through in-depth interviews on practitioners’ perceptions of how WIA and welfare reform changed their practices. The data provide hypotheses that can be explored through analysis of other data now available from the National Reporting System (NRS). It can also provide insights that may be helpful for policy discussions and plans related to the reauthorization of these two statutes, as well as future policy initiatives.


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