Administration and Evaluation of Adult Education Programs Term Paper

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Administration & Evaluation of Adult Education Programs

Similar to other government financed schemes, adult education has met with mounting requests to exhibit its efficacy and the importance of the guidance it presents. Akin to every government-financed service and education programs in current period, the adult education programs has been confronted with growing demands, at the state as well as national platforms, to report to decision makers, legislators and the public at large tangible results arising from program partaking. A lot of states have made, tailored, or taken up standards, yardsticks, and course related outlines for adult, basic and literacy education. The states are Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York and Texas. (Breen, 1991, p.20)

At the national level, there has been a shift in the direction for accomplishing excellence in learning standards and encouraging responsibility in education. More and more, the funding authorities are evaluating the program's outcome to ascertain future financing. With the gradual advancement of the educational program to the new customer service era, programs should be capable of recording outcomes to draw new customers and to be a component of the local investment board relating to labor. Programs ought to attain the criteria of the state performance, function in accordance with the federal and state rules, and generate an organizational environment of uninterrupted enhancement. (Breen, 1991, p.22)


In the past years, amendments made to the Adult Education Act, the federal legislation administering the adult education program have reinforced the necessity of answerability. The reauthorization of the Act during 1988 augmented the state necessity for local program review by stipulating six subject areas that the review should deal with and by commissioning the deployment of standardized test results while assessing. The adult literacy policy on the national level is stated in the National Literacy Act and in the Annual Education Act (AEA) which brought about the amendment of AEA in the year 1990. The purpose of the Act is to aid dropout adults attain the literacy required to work effectively in society, obtain advantage from job training and retrain them with a view to obtaining and maintain employment and persist their education to the level of passing out of High School at the minimum. To sustain adult literacy endeavors meant for adult secondary education (ASE), adult basic education (ABE), and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) inputs, the AEA provides a public funding medium by way of granting federal grants to the state education outfits. (Garrison, 1992, p.137)

The resources are aimed at sixteen-year-olds and higher who do not possess a high school diploma or the like and those who are not presently registered with a school, who possess a diploma, but don't have the ability of English language speaking, listening, reading, or writing proficiencies. The ABE programs are meant for indigenous speakers who studied at below the eighth grade standard; in case of ASE programs, it is imparted to persons above the eighth standard rank. The people for whom the ESL program is meant are learners who do not speak English as their primary language and those who are in need of enhancing their English oral skills- listening and speaking, and also literacy competencies-reading and writing expertise. The National Literacy Act during 1991 went ahead by necessitating states to develop indicators of program quality in two years time and to implement them while assessing their local programs. The indicators were to gauge the program's accomplishment in appointment, preventing attrition and bettering students' literacy proficiencies. (Taylor; Marienau, 1995, 32)

The Act even necessitated the Department of Education to build up standard indicators of program excellence to lead states in the growth of the indicators. The objectives of Adult Education programs, as mentioned in the National Literacy Act of 1991 are to help adults to obtain the fundamental educational proficiency required for behaving as a literate individual; supply these adults with enough elementary education to facilitate them to take advantage from job training and re-training programs and achieve and maintain useful employment to enable them to completely enjoy the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship; and permit adults who wishes to carry on with their education up to the level of secondary school at the minimum. The Title II of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 would come to an end on September 30, 2004. (Berelson; Lazarsfeld, McPhee, 2003, p.11)

The Bush government's dream for Adult Basic and Literacy Education is the fact that adults will possess the prospect to enhance their elementary education and literacy proficiency by way of qualitatively excellent research oriented programs. American adults should possess a solid repertoire of scholastic competence to satisfy their position as workers, guardians and citizens. The Office of Vocational and Adult Education had published the Adult Basic and Literacy Education Act of 2003: Gist of the important provisions. This design has its foundation on consultation with the field to cultivate an extensive idea in the manner in which varied institutions can collaborate to increase literacy rates and support improved learning results. (Berelson; Lazarsfeld, McPhee, 2003, p.14)

The Bush government is dedicated to transforming education in the United States such that every adult is capable of meeting the challenges of the current high- skilled economy. This proposal delineates one more aspect of the administration's program for educational restructuring that started with the implementation of 'No Child Left Behind' and provides the origin of the Administration's legislative offer. The Department of Education's projected Adult Basic and Literacy Education Act will ensure that highest excellence in adult basic and literacy education services are obtained to increased number of adults by setting up responsibility for outcomes; financing schemes that works; increasing alternatives and preferences; and lowering red-tapism and enhancing tractability. (Berelson; Lazarsfeld, McPhee, 2003, p.18)

Evaluation studies and technical assistance or dissemination projects are funded by Adult Education National Programs encompassing a wide array of subjects and matters relating to adult education. Estimation and appraisal are vital functions, which the program employees perform in unison with the learners and other stakeholders while they devise and execute programs for adult English language learners. Estimation means availing devices and methods to collect data frequently and for such intent as recognizing learner's requirements, recording his progress, or finding out the manner in which it is satisfying the requirements of the learner. Appraisal is the procedure of deducing and examining appraisal data at a given instant for the intention of enhancing and recording program and learner results. (Merriam; Brockett, 1996, 57)

Concerns regarding the things to be assessed and estimate and the procedure of accomplishing the same is not so easy. Estimation and appraisal occurs in a lot of different perspectives and aiming at a lot of different reasons. Inside a classroom or coaching scenario, learners would be interested in discerning how they are moving ahead and the teachers and instructors would be desirous in comprehending the efficacy of their instructional approaches and study materials. The employees, at the program front are worried regarding the functioning and the triumph of the program. Local, state, and national followers and funding organizations are involved with the results and the impact of the program. Nearly all major evaluations and technical support program entails advisory committees of specialists in adult education, as well as researchers and State and local authorities. By employing the procedure of monitoring, most of the states have built-in calculations of the quality indicators. (Pica, 1994, p.151)

States amended their monitoring devices and self-appraisal formats to incorporate the indicator yardstick and review local program eminence. In keeping with the requirements of Adult Education Act, states screen a minimum of 20% of their local programs yearly in several areas that are identical to that of the quality indicators. The procedure of supervision involves a visit to the location by the state personnel that employs an organized observation device to ascertain the program in every area. In a lot of states, local programs fill-up a self-appraisal form yearly and the state cross checks data provided in the form at the time of the monitoring visit. A number of states also gather indicator yardsticks by means of a separate document deposited yearly by local programs and by the application procedure. (Taylor; Marienau, 1995, 201)

In the second procedure, local programs provides the yardstick in their applications for funding and then assesses them on the manner they conform the equivalent performance standards. Not an isolated evaluation method or device can meet the demands of each stakeholder with information to reply their questions. This information can also be utilized to assist in designing, changing and enhancing programs. Indicators of achievement have not been expanded for the Adult Education National Programs. Suitable indicators may comprise: doing exhaustive evaluation studies in time, which are utilized for policy making and preparation of reauthorization suggestions as also to offer direction for the enhancement of program; giving technical help to States and regional providers which is accorded a high status by the beneficiaries and adjudged suitable by a sovereign group or evaluator; and ruling by a national board of specialists…

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