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May 31 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) invites comments to OMB by August 1, 2022 regarding its proposal to conduct the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Cycle II 2022 Main Study. [NCES submitted its proposal to OMB on June 30, 2022.]
 
The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a cyclical, large-scale study of adult skills and life experiences focusing on education and employment. PIAAC is an international study designed to assess adults in different countries over a broad range of abilities, from simple reading to complex problem-solving skills, and to collect information on individuals' skill use and background. The U.S. will administer the PIAAC 2022 assessment to a nationally representative sample of adults, along with a background questionnaire with questions about their education background, work history, the skills they use on the job and at home, their civic engagement, and sense of their health and well-being. The results are used to compare the skills capacities of the workforce-aged adults in participating countries, and to learn more about relationships between educational background, employment, and other outcomes.

PIAAC is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and developed by participating countries with the support of the OECD. In the United States, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education (ED) conducts PIAAC. NCES has contracted with Westat to administer the PIAAC Cycle II Field Test data collection in the U.S.

The United States participated in the PIAAC Main Study data collection in 2012 and conducted national supplement data collections in 2014 and 2017. All three of these collections are part of PIAAC Cycle I, in which 39 countries participated (24 countries in 2012, 9 new countries in 2014, and 5 more new countries in 2017) with close to 200,000 adults assessed across the 39 countries over the three data collections. A new PIAAC cycle is to be conducted internationally every 10 years, and PIAAC Cycle II Main Study data collection will be conducted from September 2022 through April 2023.

In preparation for the main study collection, PIAAC Cycle II began with an Operational Field Test in 2021, in which 34 countries are expected to participate with the primary goal of testing the PIAAC 2022 planned operations. In recognition of the continuing global pandemic OECD shifted the timeline of PIAAC Cycle II Field Test and Main Study. Originally, the Field Test was scheduled for 2020 and the Main Study for 2021. The first shift in timeline was to move the Field Test to 2021 and the Main Study to 2022. The second shift in the PIAAC Cycle II collection affected the timing and nature of the field test, which was operational only and included a reduced field test effort both in scope and in sampling. In addition, the reduced Operational Field Test shifted the timeline from April through June 2021 to June through August 2021.

This submission describes the final plans for the administration of the PIAAC Cycle II 2022 Main Study. As the OECD is still working to finalize some materials for this study, the Appendices will be updated with final materials before the 30D public comment period.    

PIAAC Cycle II defines four core competency domains of adult cognitive skills that are key to facilitating the social and economic participation of adults in advanced economies: (1) literacy, (2) numeracy, (3) reading and numeracy components, and (4) adaptive problem solving. All participating countries are required to assess the literacy and numeracy domains, but the reading and numeracy components and adaptive problem solving domains are optional.

The U.S. will administer all four domains of the PIAAC 2022 assessment to a nationally representative sample of adults, along with a background questionnaire with questions about their education background, work history, the skills they use on the job and at home, their civic engagement, financial literacy and sense of their health and well-being. The results are used to compare the skills capacities of the workforce-aged adults in participating countries, and to learn more about relationships between educational background, employment, and other outcomes. In addition, in PIAAC 2022, a set of financial literacy questions will be included in the background questionnaire.
 
NCES PIACC webpage: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/piaac/
PIACC Cycle II 2022 Main Study submission to OMB (6.30.22): https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202202-1850-007 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FR notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-11607

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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