Adult basic education (ABE) scholars, practitioners, and policymakers have long debated the purpose and outcomes of federal ABE policy. Although the current policy, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), became law in 2014, there is no comprehensive analysis of the diverging perspectives on WIOA implementation. This integrative literature review generates a synthesis of WIOA-Title II implementation and suggests implications for future research. Based on a thematic analysis of 35 publications (2014–2021), the paper elaborates on four themes: limited ABE funding and the need to use funds efficiently, WIOA-mandated coordination between ABE providers and workforce development partners, increased accountability requirements that narrowly focus on economic outcomes, and framing adult education for economic purposes. Future research on WIOA-Title II implementation should build on this foundation to inquire for whom WIOA works, where it works, and under what conditions it is or isn’t successful in helping learners to flourish.
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