ERIC Number: ED245108
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-27
Reference Count: 0
Ten Years of Federal Statistics on Vocational Education.
Barnes, Robert E.
An examination was made of Federal program statistics on vocational education during the past 10 years by the Bureau of Occupational and Adult Education of the U. S. Office of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics of the U. S. Department of Education. The study found that despite a mandate for reform, the National Center's data from the Vocational Education Data System (VEDS) exhibited many of the same basic defects as the previous system. The two systems appear to have been designed to create exaggerated impressions about the scope and effectiveness of the program, as well as to sustain certain official "myths" embedded in the authorizing legislation. They have done this by manufacturing inflated program statistics, marketing inflated programs claims, and protecting inflated numbers from embarrassment. Four recommendations for reform were made: (1) do not confuse official numbers with information, (2) combat the tunnel vision of categorical programs, (3) end the conspiracy of polite silence about bad numbers, and (4) urge more restraint on legislators who demand accountability that is not feasible. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Vocational Education Data System
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).