Adult education directors' perceptions of performance indicators for adult education programs in the state of Florida

Lourdes Oroza, Florida International University

Abstract

Current demands for accountability in education emphasize outcome-based program evaluation and tie program funding to individual student performance. As has been the case for elementary and secondary programs, demands for accountability have increased pressure on adult educators to show evidence of the benefits of their programs in order to justify their financial support. In Florida, recent legislation fundamentally changes the delivery of adult education in the state by establishing a performance-based funding system that is based on outcomes related to the retention, completion, and employment of program participants.^ A performance-based funding system requires an evaluation process that stresses outcome indicators over indicators that focus on program context or process. Although the state has adopted indicators of program quality to evaluate its adult education programs, these indicators focus mostly on program processes rather than student outcomes. In addition, the indicators are not specifically tied to workforce development outcomes, a priority to federal and local funding agents.^ Improving the accountability of adult education programs and defining the role of these programs in Florida's Workforce Development System has become a priority to policy makers across the state. Another priority has been to involve adult education practitioners in every step of this process.^ This study was conducted in order to determine what performance indicators, as judged by the directors and supervisors of adult education programs in the state of Florida, are important and feasible in measuring the quality and effectiveness of these programs. The results of the study indicated that, both statewide and by region, the respondents consistently gave the highest ratings on both importance and feasibility to the indicators of Program Context, which reflect the needs, composition, and structure of the programs, and to the indicators of Educational Gain, which reflect learner progress in the attainment of basic skills and competencies. In turn, the respondents gave the lowest ratings on both importance and feasibility to the indicators in the areas of Return on State's Investment, Efficiency, Retention, and Workforce Training. In general, the indicators that received high ratings for importance also received high ratings for feasibility. ^

Subject Area

Education, Finance|Education, Administration|Education, Adult and Continuing

Recommended Citation

Oroza, Lourdes, "Adult education directors' perceptions of performance indicators for adult education programs in the state of Florida" (1997). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9813426.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9813426

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