Both the Workforce investment Act (WIA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) defined roles for the National Institute for Literacy across the research process. WIA authorized the Institute “to coordinate the support of reliable and replicable research on literacy and basic skills in families and adults across federal agencies…and to carry out basic and applied research and development on topics that are not being investigated by other organizations or agencies….”
Two separate sections of NCLB directed the Institute to identify and disseminate reading research findings, and a third directed the Institute to conduct scientific research to “determine the most effective ways of improving the literacy skills of adults with reading disabilities….”
Over several years, the Institute played an important role in bringing research to the forefront of the government’s efforts to strengthen adult literacy services and reading instruction for all ages. Guided by its statutes, the Institute participated in all aspects of the research process from infusing research findings into current services, to building the knowledge base, to preparing for the next generation of research studies, to providing research-based information to educators. The primary subject of its research-related work was reading, although the Institute also integrated projects on learning disabilities, basic skills and research methods into its research portfolio.
The Literacy Research Initiative (LRI) is a comprehensive online collection that highlights research and most rigorous research studies on adult and adolescent literacy - specifically reading, writing, and math.