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In this article research is presented that illustrates how measures of adults’ engagement in literacy and numeracy practices can be used in conjunction with well-entrenched proficiency measures to provide a richer quantitative framework for adult literacy and numeracy development. Longitudinal data about learners indicate that adult education programs are more closely aligned with practice engagement measures than with proficiency measures. Program participation leads to increased practice engagement that, over time, leads to the very gains in proficiency currently valued by policy makers.
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