[AAACE-NLA] Delusion of Accountability in Adult Education
AWilder106 at aol.com
AWilder106 at aol.com
Thu May 27 13:33:03 EDT 2004
Thanks to all who replied to my questions, particularly Andres and Nancy, who really gave it their all.
Debbie was also kind enough to give me her thoughts off list.
What is the point of the NRS? This is unclear to me. (I haven't checked documents on this.) Say Art and others in Georgia hand in their charts of TABE scores and retention figures. Does this have consequence? Does it keep Art on his toes? Are the data used to ax programs? To fund programs?
So I wondered if a program like Andres's, attached to a community college, might increase legitimacy and resources, which it has--in grant writing, computer use?, in coming under the wing of an academic institution which gives him more leeway in assessment and also institutional legitimacy and protection.
As I recall, Nancy's program does not get federal money (Andres didn't mention that for his, either, so I assume it doesn't), so in S.Dakota she has a very personal relationship to donors, to her volunteers, and to learners. The learners make the case for her. Would her case be stronger if she could document her learners' progress with the TABE? Would she get more money locally? I don't know. Say she were given a million bucks to give the TABE--would she? How would she invest the money in resources for her students? (Don't have it pal, wish I did.)
Different states have different systems--so the unit of analysis should I think be the state--I haven't yet read the state study posted by Gail S. about Kentucky.
The difficulty of using the TABE as a reliable measure of progress across programs is that the inputs are unequal. Two unequal inputs would be teacher credentials and money. If you wanted to use the TABE as an accountability device (what programs to ax/fund) you would have to take account of many variables, assign them weights, and work out formulas. (Maybe the NRS does that.)
In lieu of reliable performance measures (and perhaps with them) personal negotiation will step in (I think) to decide on which programs to continue funding.
On another real literacy question, I agree with Art that literacy generalizes and I don't see why the TABE wouldn't capture that.
Thanks for all your help.
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