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In 2013, the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRS) (PDF) were published under a U.S. Department of Education contract for the field of adult basic education. These standards were created with the central purpose of forging a stronger link among adult education, postsecondary education, and employment. Adult education standards are called out in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Section 102(b)(2)(D)(ii)(I): “The unified State Plan shall include, with respect to activities carried out under title II, a description of how the eligible agency will, if applicable, align content standards for adult education with State-adopted challenging academic content standards, as adopted under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(1)).”
In 2015, the The Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) officially adopted the CCRS as the approved set of academic standards for adult basic education in Colorado. The CCRS are aligned with Common Core State Standards and with today's high school equivalency exams, emphasizing three key shifts in English Language Arts (Complexity, Evidence, Knowledge) and Math (Focus, Coherence, Rigor). To meet the needs of English language learners, the American Institutes for Research prepared the English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education with Correspondences to College and Career Readiness Standards (ELP) (PDF) that were released in 2016 to ensure that adult English language learners (ELLs) receive the focused and effective instruction they needed to access the adult education academic content standards.