Ohio ABLE adopts College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards

One of the Ohio Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) Professional Development Network (PDN) objectives is to provide a comprehensive system of resources to local ABLE programs. Included is the revision of the Ohio Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) content standards. Given Ohio ABLE’s strong history of standards-based education, the typical lifespan of standards, and the influence of the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), a recommendation was made to the Ohio Board of Regents that the Ohio ABE/ASE content standards be revised in FY 2014 through the adoption and adaptation of the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards.

The OCTAE released the CCR standards for adult education (AE) in April 2013. The CCR standards were developed through examination of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) from the vantage point of adult education. The CCR standards present anchor statements and descriptors for English Language Arts and Literacy content areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, and reading foundation skills) and mathematics content and practice.

In the fall of 2013, Ohio ABLE PDN staff developed an alignment crosswalk of the CCR standards with the Ohio ABE/ASE content standards. The recommendation for adoption and adaptation stems from gaps found. For the Ohio ABE/ASE content standards to adequately cover the content and rigor of the CCR standards, a high percentage of correlation is desirable for each content area. Resulting from the Ohio ABLE PDN’s analysis, the percentages are low: only 41 percent of the ABE/ASE math, 63 percent of the reading, and 33 percent of the writing standards correlate with the CCR standards.

Additional rationale to support the recommendation includes the following:

─ The OCTAE developed the CCR standards under the assumption that states will use the standards for AE.

  • Subject matter experts from the fields of AE Language Arts and Mathematics developed the CCR standards based on the CCSS.
  • The CCSS were adopted by most states, including Ohio, for kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12).
    • The CCSS were also used in the initial development of the Ohio College Readiness Expectations.

─ Alignment is desirable for standards, instruction, and assessment.

  • Programs are actively aligning curriculum and instruction to assessment targets (2014 GED®).
    • This strategy offers a successful teaching and learning model.
    • The 2014 GED® uses anchor standards from the CCSS that are the same for the CCR framework.
  • Alignment provides consistent expectations for the AE and K-12 systems so that all have access to equal preparation for credit-bearing higher education courses.

─ A multitude of resources are available based on the CCSS and the CCR standards.

  • The K-12 and AE systems develop lessons and activities using CCSS/CCR standards indicators that result in leveraging efforts and sharing the financial burden to create common tools and materials.
  • A majority of resources from the CCSS (K-12) are also applicable to the CCR standards (AE).

The integration of the CCR standards into adult education programs is intended to provide all adult students with the opportunity to be prepared for postsecondary training without needing remediation. To that end, the CCR standards provide a framework that can be used to strengthen and guide programs in preparing students for college and careers (U.S. Department of Education, 2013). Following are benefits of the CCR standards for students, instructors, and programs:

Students – The standards present a starting point for raising awareness and understanding the critical skills and knowledge expected and required for success in postsecondary education and training and employment in the 21st century.

Instructors – Clear standards allow educators to focus their efforts and shape overall instruction. Standards are translated into curriculum and lessons for teaching content to students while providing the foundation for assessments that help determine whether students are learning the essential skills and knowledge included in the standards.

Programs – Adoption of the CCR standards brings Ohio one step closer to alignment and consistency. Partnerships between ABLE and the K-12 system allow for combined resources to create common tools and materials for assessment, instruction, and professional development opportunities.

There are a variety of implications related to adopting the CCR standards for Ohio’s ABE/ASE content standards, including revision and retrofitting of existing materials. To support programs during the transition, the Ohio ABLE PDN developed a CCR standards guide (i.e., providing Ohio context and a unique numbering system). In addition, the Ohio ABLE PDN is assisting instructional programs with aligning curriculum and instruction to the CCR standards and providing technical assistance.

The Ohio Board of Regents’ website, https://www.ohiohighered.org/able/reference, houses more information on Ohio’s implementation of the AE standards.


U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, (2013). College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education. Washington, D.C.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA), Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010a). Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Retrieved January 14, 2013, from http://www.corestandards.org/read-the-standards/.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA), Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010b). Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Retrieved January 14, 2013, from http://www.corestandards.org/read-the-standards/.

Contributor: Adrienne Boggs