June 30, 1992 to July 1, 1995
Adult Education Act, P.L. 100-297 as Amended by the
National Literacy Act, P.L. 102-73

Submitted by:

California Department of Education
Specialized Programs Branch
Youth, Adult and Alternative Educational Services Division


Chapter 16

Local recipients will collect achievement data from a representative sample of participants, and an independent contractor will conduct a formative evaluation of the entire four-year plan, including a review of the programs, services and activities of local recipients.

This chapter describes procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of programs, services and activities by local recipients of funds. It also describes the process by which evaluation findings will be used to effect progress and improvement in the adult education program.

Evaluation of Local Programs

Four processes are occurring simultaneously to evaluate local programs receiving federal assistance under the Act. The first will require all grantees to collect achievement data from a representative sample of participants. The second will specify how the CDE will develop and implement, in consultation with a widely representative group of appropriate experts, educators, and administrators, indicators of program quality to be used to evaluate programs to determine whether such programs are effective, including whether such programs are successfully recruiting, retaining, and improving the literacy skills of the individuals served. [Section 331(a)(2).] The third will specify new evaluation and reporting requirements for CDE. The fourth will require an independent contractor to collect various types of evaluation information from at least one-third of the grantees during the course of the four-year project.


The grantee will provide both a pre-test and post-test in basic or life skills to a representative sample of ABE and ESL participants each year. Testing materials and sampling requirements will be provided by the California Department of Education. The local agency will provide the Adult Education Unit with the following data for the purpose of statewide evaluation:

During the previous State Plan, the grantees provided a representative sample of not less than 10 percent of the number served. During subsequent years, accountability guidelines and data collection requirements became more prescriptive as better testing and sampling practices were developed. In the future, the grantees may provide pre- and post-tests to measure other impacts of ABE/ESL instruction, such as self-esteem, life satisfaction, and civic efficacy. The California Department of Education will make available to local agencies instruments with which to measure these attitudes.


Common quality standards and guideline are being developed for the design and implementation of programs. The public and private sector are involved in the development of standards and guidelines for program quality through out strategic planning process. The Interim Steering Committee oversees this process. The Committee is composed of individuals that represent both the public and private sectors. Curriculum task force members also represent these sectors and have begun the task of writing standards and guidelines for program quality. Standards and guidelines for program quality in English as a Second Language programs have been completed. Those for adult basic education, high school, adult handicapped, older adults, and parent education programs are currently being written. Standards will be developed and periodically adjusted to encourage instructional excellence and sound certification and administrative practices. Such standards will lead to a stronger, well-balanced and comprehensive curriculum. Standards will pertain to both traditional and non-traditional methods, as well as to instructional conditions for a variety of student populations. Common measures will be developed and used to document student skill attainment, satisfaction and self-esteem. Student performance measures will be used to assess educational needs and certify the educational achievements of individuals. These scores will be aggregated along with program cost measures to determine changing levels of productivity. These standards and guideline will be used to determine eligibility for funding. [Note: CDE will have until July 25, 1993 to implement indicators of program quality. Evaluations conducted during Fiscal Year 1993 (program year, July 1, 1993 through June 30, 1994) will apply the indicators of program quality.] [Section 331(a)(2)]


The California Department of Education will annually report to the Secretary and make public within the State data with respect to grant recipients, including the number and percentage of LEAs, CBOs, volunteer groups, and other organizations that are grant recipients and the results of evaluations as required by the Act. [(Section 352(1)(A)(B)]

The California Department of Education will evaluate a minimum of 20 percent of the grant recipients each year so that at the end of the Revised State Plan period 80 percent of all grant recipients will have been evaluated. [(Section 352(2)]


The California Department of Education has contracted with an independent organization to conduct a formative evaluation of the entire federal program under the Act, including the Local Assistance Grants program under Section 321, the Institutionalized Adults Program under Section 326, and the Special Experimental Demonstration Projects and Teacher Training Projects under Section 353. These evaluation activities will be undertaken for the duration of the State Plan.

The contractor will evaluate local recipients with respect to all or some of the following factors (See Exhibit 15):

Exhibit 15


  1. Planning and content.

  2. Curriculum, instructional materials, and equipment.

  3. Adequacy and qualifications of personnel.

  4. Effect of the program on subsequent work experience of participants, completers and graduates.

  5. Achievement of goals in the State Plan.

  6. Other factors that affect program operation.

  7. Data, including standardized test data, to determine:

    1. Extent to which the programs are achieving goals of the State Plan, including the goal of serving educationally disadvantaged adults;

    2. Extent to which grant recipients have improved their capacity to achieve the purposes of the Act.

In response to the Request for Proposal (RFP), the contractor will indicate how it proposes to consider these factors in carrying out the evaluation of the State Plan.

Use of Evaluation Findings

As part of its effort to implement the Long-term Plan for Adult Education, the California Department of Education will incorporate evaluation findings into a computerized management information system that will provide program description and evaluative information to state and local program managers and officials. Such information will be used to recommend changes in policies and procedures at the State level, as well as program changes and improvements at the local level. Appropriate evaluation findings will also be shared with the field through dissemination media developed and operated by the Adult Education Outreach and Technical Assistance Network, as described in Chapter 14.

Evaluation findings will also influence decisions to renew local grants on an annual basis, since grantees must show evidence each year of meeting the educational goals in the State Plan and approved applications. These findings will also be submitted to the Secretary within 90 days of the close of each program year.


*****Continued On "Ch.17 English Literacy Plan"*****