(a) In general
(b) Required activitiesThe national leadership activities described in subsection (a) shall include technical assistance, including—
carrying out rigorous research and evaluation on effective adult education and literacy activities, as well as estimating the number of adults functioning at the lowest levels of literacy proficiency, which shall be coordinated across relevant Federal agencies, including the Institute of Education Sciences; and
carrying out an independent evaluation at least once every 4 years of the programs and activities under this subchapter, taking into consideration the evaluation subjects referred to in section 3224(a)(2) of this title.
(c) Allowable activitiesThe national leadership activities described in subsection (a) may include the following:
(1) Technical assistance, including—
assistance related to professional development activities, and assistance for the purposes of developing, improving, identifying, and disseminating the most successful methods and techniques for providing adult education and literacy activities, based on scientifically valid research where available;
assistance in distance education and promoting and improving the use of technology in the classroom, including instruction in English language acquisition for English language learners;
supporting efforts aimed at strengthening programs at the State and local levels, such as technical assistance in program planning, assessment, evaluation, and monitoring of activities carried out under this subchapter.
(2) Funding national leadership activities either directly or through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements awarded on a competitive basis to or with postsecondary educational institutions, institutions of higher education, public or private organizations or agencies (including public libraries), or consortia of such institutions, organizations, or agencies, which may include—
(C) increasing the effectiveness, and improving the quality, of adult education and literacy activities, which may include—
promoting concurrent enrollment programs in adult education and credit bearing postsecondary coursework;
developing high-quality professional development activities for eligible providers; and
(vii) developing, replicating, and disseminating information on best practices and innovative programs, such as—
integrated education and training programs;
(D) providing for the conduct of an independent evaluation and assessment of adult education and literacy activities through grants and contracts awarded on a competitive basis, which shall include descriptions of—
the effect of performance accountability measures and other measures of accountability on the delivery of adult education and literacy activities;
the extent to which the adult education and literacy activities increase the literacy skills of eligible individuals, lead to involvement in education and training, enhance the employment and earnings of such participants, and, if applicable, lead to other positive outcomes, such as success in re-entry and reductions in recidivism in the case of prison-based adult education and literacy activities;
collecting data, such as data regarding the improvement of both local and State data systems, through technical assistance and development of model performance data collection systems;
other activities designed to enhance the quality of adult education and literacy activities nationwide.