A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 411

Adult Education--National Programs--Evaluation and Technical Assistance

(No CFDA No.)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: Adult Education Act, Part D, Section 383, P.L. 91-230, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1212a-c) (expires September 30, 1995).

Purpose: To conduct evaluation studies and provide assistance to States in evaluating the status and progress of adult education. Projects and studies funded provide information needed for national policy-making, development of legislative proposals for reauthorization, and State and local program improvement.

Funding History

Fiscal Year Appropriation
1988 $1,915,000
1989 1,976,000
1990 1,973,000
1991 2,927,587
1992 4,000,000
1993 3,928,000
1994 3,928,000

II. Program Information and Analysis

Performance Indicators

Indicators of performance have not been developed for the Adult Education National Programs. Appropriate indicators might include:

Services

Adult Education National Programs funds evaluation studies and technical assistance/dissemination projects covering a broad range of topics and concerns for adult education.

Collaborative implementation. Carrying out the projects and services of this program has involved collaboration between many offices and agencies and with the field. Three Department of Education offices have participated in these efforts -- the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), the Office of the Under Secretary (including the Planning and Evaluation Service and the Budget Service) and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). In addition, ED is working collaboratively with the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services on studies and projects, and cooperates with the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) in planning and supporting research, development, and information dissemination projects. Most major evaluations and technical assistance projects involve advisory committees of experts in adult education, including researchers and State and local administrators.

Percent of total appropriation. In FY 1993, Adult Education National Programs' funding of $3,928,000 represented 1.3 percent of the total Adult Education Act appropriation of $304,718,000 as shown in Figure 1.

graph omitted

Types of activities. The activities funded under Adult Education National Programs may be grouped into five categories:

  1. outcome evaluations of Federal programs.
  2. evaluations that identify effective practices and programs ("what works").
  3. descriptive studies (case studies, descriptive surveys, secondary data analyses).
  4. developmental projects to prepare issue briefs, policy analyses, guides, research agendas, and other support materials.
  5. technical assistance and training to States and local providers to improve evaluation capability and for program improvement.

The distribution of funds among these categories is shown in Figure 2 for the FY 1993 appropriation:

No FY 1993 funds were used for identifying effective practices.

graph omitted

Current priorities. During 1993, the Department supported projects in the following topical areas as shown in Figure 3:

  1. impact of Federal programs (including outcome and descriptive evaluations);
  2. improving local practice (including "what works" studies and some descriptive and developmental work);
  3. using technology to improve instruction and administration (development and technical assistance projects);
  4. professional development for adult educators (technical assistance);
  5. issues in welfare reform (impact evaluations and descriptive studies);
  6. improving adult education performance and evaluation data (development and technical assistance); and
  7. special projects (development and technical assistance).

graph omitted

Status of Key FY 1993 Projects and Activities (III.2)

Evaluations:

Development, technical assistance, and training:

Table 1
Adult Education National Programs
Evaluation and Technical Assistance Activities

FY 1992 Actual FY 1993 Actual FY 1994 Contins.* Total Lead Office Status Type
Evaluation of Federal Programs
Design guidance for workplace literacy evaluations (RTI) $75,000 -- -- $75,000 OUS Completed Development
Conference on States' implementation of NLA (Pelavin) 115,000 -- -- 475,000 OUS Completed Development
Workplace literacy evaluation--year one (Mathematica)** 474,458 0 0 474,458 OUS Underway Impact
National Evaluation of Adult Education Programs (D.A.) 242,000 88,000 -- 2,728,000 OUS Underway Impact
Evaluation of Section 353 State set-aside program (RMC) 217,730 321,464 -- 539,194 OUS Underway Impact
Case studies of State adult education grant allocations (RTI) 65,542 -- -- 65,542 OUS Underway Descriptive
State setasides evaluation--Gateways and LRCs (RTI) -- 161,991 -- 161,991 OUS Underway Descriptive
Reauthorization analyses and synthesis (RTI) -- 198,462 -- 198,462 OUS Underway Descriptive
Longitudinal data, analyses, National Evalutation data (Pelavin) -- 387,261 -- 392,000 OUS Underway Impact
Improving Local Practice
Case studies of family literacy programs (RTI) -- 149,994 -- 149,994 OUS Underway Descriptive
Adult numeracy education: agenda for action (NCAL) -- 25,097 -- 25,097 OERI Underway Development
Technical assistance on NALS to States and LEAs (NAB) -- 495,775 -- 495,775 OVAE Underway Technical assistance
NCLE (ERIC Clearinghouse) (Center for Applied Linguistics) -- 299,998 150,000 449,998 OERI Underway Technical assistance
Using Technology to Improve Instruction and Administration
Teacher training using interactive teleconferencing (NCAL) -- 118,513 81,786 200,299 OERI Underway Development
Planning for software development project (NCAL) -- 101,390 49,938 151,328 OERI Underway Development
Professional Development for Adult Educators
ABE/ESL teacher training project (Pelavin) 308,203 - -- 1,221,733 OUS Completed Technical Assistance
Volunteer training and management conference (NAB) 380,000 11,413 -- 391,413 OVAE Completed Technical assistance
Professional development assistance project (Pelavin) -- 276,814 256,000 779,000 OVAE Underway Technical assistance
Issues in Welfare Reform
JOBS technical assistance project (NAB) 100,000 -- -- 100,000 HHS Completed Technical assistance
JOBS Evaluation (MDRC) 966,656 -- 500,000 2,235,713 HHS Underway Technical assistance
Welfare client analyses and review (MDRC) -- 368,000 -- 368,000 HHS Underway Impact
Improving Performance and Evaluation Data
State information network, pilot test (Pelavin) 64,107 -- -- 64,107 OUS Completed Development
Comparison of adult education tests (Pelavin) 100,000 -- -- 100,000 OUS Underway Development
Special national data analyses, Indians and ESL (Census) -- 54,067 -- 54,067 OERI Underway Descriptive
State accountability and assessment project (Pelavin) 856,534 234,023 5000,000 1,590,557 OVAE Underway Technical assistance
Special Projects
Comissioned papers and reports 34,770 78,000 -- 112,770 OVAE Underway Development
National conference on Indian adult education (Power) -- 114,999 -- 114,999 OVAE Underway Development
Mexican-U.S. border states project (CAL, Inc.) -- 119,923 90,000 270,000 OVAE Underway Development
TOTAL 4,000,000 3,605,184 1,627,724

Notes:
* This column includes only continuations for projects started in earllier years. Information is not available on planned procurements with the remaining funds.
** The workplace literacy valuation is being continued with Workplace Literacy Program funds.

Glossary for Acronyms and Abbreviations:

Federal Offices:
OUS -- Office of the Under Secretary, Planning and Evaluation Service (U.S. Department of Education)
OVAE -- Office of Vocational and Adult Education (U.S. Department of Education)
OERI -- Office of Educational Research and Improvement (U.S. Department of Education)
HHS -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Census -- Census Bureau (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Contractors:
CAL, Inc. (Vacaville, CA)
D.A -- Development Associates, Inc. (Arlington, VA)
Mathematica -- Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (Princeton, NJ)
MDRC -- Manpower Demonstratation Research Corporation, Inc. (New York, NJY)
NAB -- National Alliance for Business, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
Pelavin -- Pelavin Associates, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
Power -- Power and Associates, Inc. (Temple, AZ)
RMC -- RMC Research Corporation, Inc. (Portsmouth, NH)
RTI -- Research Triangle Associates, Inc. (Research Triangle Park, NC)
NCAL -- National Center for Adult Literacy (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)
NCLE -- National Clearinghouse on Literacy Education for Limited-English-Proficient Adults (Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC)(Washington, D.C.)

Other:
NLA -- National Literacy Act of 1991
LRCs -- State Literacy Resources Center program
NALS -- National Adult Literacy Survey by the National Center for Education Statistics
JOBS -- Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program
ABE/ESL -- Adult Basics Education/English-as-a-second-language programs

Table 2
Adult Education National Programs, Special Subtotals

FY 1992 FY 1993 FY 1994 Continuations
Funding Percent of Total Funding Percent of Total Funding Percent of Total
Project by Theme/Priority
Federal program evaluations $1,189,730 29.7% $1,157,178 32.1% $0 0.0%
Improving local practice 0 0.0% 970,864 26.9% 150,000 9.2%
Using technology 0 0.0% 219,903 6.1% 131,724 15.7%
Professional development for adult educators 688,203 17.2% 288,227 8.0% 256,000 15.7%
Welfare reform and adult education 1,066,656 26.7% 368,000 10.2% 500,000 30.7%
Improving performance and evaluation data 1,020,641 25.5% 288,090 8.0% 500,000 30.7%
Special projects 34,770 0.9% 312,922 8.7% 90,000 5.5%
Total $4,000,000 $3,605,184 $1,627,724
Projects by Office
OUS $1,662,040 41.6% $1,307,172 36.3% $0 0.0%
OVAE 1,271,304 31.8% 1,330,947 36.9% 846,000 52.0%
OERI 0 0.0% 599,065 16.6% 281,724 17.3%
OUS/HHS 1,066,656 26.67 368,000 10.2 500,000 30.7
Total $4,000,000 $3,605,184 $1,627,724
Projects by Type
Program impact $1,900,844 47.5% $1,164,725 32.3% $500,000 30.7%
Effective practices 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Descriptive studies 65,542 1.6% 564,514 15.7% 0 0.0%
Development and design 388,877 9.7% 557,922 15.5% 221,724 13.6%
Technical assistance and training 1,644,737 41.1% 1,318,023 36.6% 906,000 55.7%
Total $4,000,000 $3,605,184 $1,627,724

III. Sources of Information

  1. Program files

  2. Putting Research Results to Work: A Guide to the Adult Education National Programs, 1988-1993. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1994)

  3. Progress and final reports from various studies.

IV. Planned Studies

Information is not available on future studies, other than continuation awards indicated in Section II.

V. Contacts for Further Information

Program operations:
Ron Pugsley, (202) 732-2398

Program studies:
Nancy Rhett, (202) 401-3630

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