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From: Kutner, Mark (
Date: Mon Mar 07 2005 - 10:53:04 EST

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Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:947] RE: NAAL Discussion Begins Today!
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There have been a number of enhancements to the NAAL which are intended
to address concerns about the 1992 NALS.  Please let me know the
specific comments about which you are referring and I can then provide a
more satisfactory answer. 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of South, Shauna
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 10:43 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:945] RE: NAAL Discussion Begins Today!

There was some controversy over some of the methodology of the NALS
survey.  Were there steps taken to improve with the NAAL?
Shauna South             :)

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Kutner, Mark
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 6:52 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:943] RE: NAAL Discussion Begins Today!

Good morning.  I am looking forward to answering any questions that you
might have about the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL).  The
project was funded by the National Center for Education Statistics
(NCES), and we are all very much looking forward to releasing reports
that will provide useful information about the literacy of America's

Here is my attempt to answer Maria's first questions:

The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) and the 2003 NAAL
essentially measure the same constructs of literacy and we will be
reporting changes in literacy levels between 1992 and 2003. While
maintaining trend between the two assessments, NAAL also has a number of
enhancements that are intended to provide more meaningful information
about adult literacy levels.  These include:

1.  A Fluency Addition to NAAL (FAN) which will provide a basic reading
score for the population and sub populations.

2.  A health literacy score, in addition to scores on prose, document,
and quantitative literacy. 

3.  An emphasis on the literacy of adults with the lowest levels of
literacy by using a performance based assessment that we call the Adult
Literacy Supplemental Assessment (ALSA) to provide information about
what adults who were unable to answer NAAL questions.

NAAL also includes a more comprehensive background survey than the one
in 1992.  In addition to asking questions related to basic demographics,
it includes questions about job training, employment, family literacy,
community involvmement, use of technology, and health.  The background
questionnaire is available online at the NCES NAAL site.  Our planned
title for the main NAAL report is: The Literacy of America's Adults in
Workplace, Family, and Community Settings.  This should give you an idea
about the type of information that will be available.

The NAAL is a household survey which means that interviewers visit
people's homes and individually administer the assessment.  It is a time
consuming and complicated process.  Westat is the organization that
collected the data.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Marie Cora
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 7:22 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:942] NAAL Discussion Begins Today!

Good morning, afternoon, and evening to you all.
Today begins our discussion with Mark Kutner on the National Assessments
of Adult Literacy.  Welcome Mark!
I encourage you all to check out the suggested resources at:  (click on the Frequently Asked Questions
or view any of the webcasts at:
I have a question for you Mark to start us off:
What is the difference between the 2003 survey and the 1992 survey?
What information are you trying to capture in the new survey that you
didn't get in the '92 survey?  How are you capturing or collecting the
new info?
marie cora
Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and Coordinator/Developer
LINCS Assessment Special Collection at

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