Center for American Progress

: How Boosting Adult Educational Skills Can Grow the Middle Class
Past Event

How Boosting Adult Educational Skills Can Grow the Middle Class

The basic skill level of American adults is incredibly important for our ability to grow and maintain a strong middle class. In an economy that increasingly relies on technology we must invest in policies that promote and strengthen the skills of our citizens so that they can continue to drive American economic growth.

A new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report will provide a strong and clear call to United States policymakers to protect America’s global standing through investments in education because basic skill levels are linked with employability in the global economy. The OECD conducted the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a major household survey across 23 countries that examined adult skill levels in three areas: literacy, numeracy and problems solving. The U.S. Department of Education requested OECD analyze the PIAAC data and generate a special report detailing the status of American adults and making policy recommendations to boost skill levels in the United States.

Please join the Center for American Progress and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for this important event.

Introductory Remarks:

Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress

Presentation of findings:

Andreas Schleicher, OECD Directorate on Education and Skills

Reaction to findings:

Brenda Dann-Messier, Department of Education, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education

Harry Holzer, Professor of Public Policy, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Allyson Knox, Director for Education Policy and Programs, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
Josephine Reed-Taylor, Deputy Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
Whitney Smith, Employment Program Director, Joyce Foundation


David Bergeron, Vice President, Postsecondary Education Policy, Center for American Progress