Adult Education:

Measuring Program Results Has Been Challenging

HEHS-95-153: Published: Sep 8, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Adult Education Act's (AEA) State Grant Program, focusing on: (1) its coordination with federal employment training programs; and (2) the extent to which the program ensures accountability for program quality and results.

GAO found that: (1) AEA goals are broad so that people with diverse backgrounds can have access to various types of educational instruction; (2) the most common programs funded under the State Grant Program include basic education, secondary education, and english as a second language programs; (3) the State Grant Program has had difficulty ensuring accountability for program results due to a lack of clearly defined program objectives, questionable adult student assessments, and poor student data; (4) coordination among the State Grant Program and federal employment training programs is essential, since many individuals need instruction provided by both of these programs; and (5) some experts disagree whether developing model indicators of program quality will help states define measurable program objectives, evaluate local programs, and collect more accurate data.

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