ERIC Number: ED317861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Myth #7: Literacy Programs Are Fail-Safe.
Literacy Beat, v2 n7 Aug-Sep 1988
Evaluation of adult literacy programs requires different criteria from those used to judge regular schooling. Indicators for evaluating adult voluntary programs with individualized curricula are recruitment; retention, including absenteeism; one-on-one tutoring with volunteers; training in a context; support services; the "quick-fix" syndrome; appropriate curriculum; and teachers who care. Common evaluation hazards are claiming much and providing evidence of little, selecting measures not logically related to the program, use of grade-equivalent scores, use of different instruments for pretesting and posttesting, and careless collection of data. Evaluations of programs in Philadelphia and Boston found that (1) low-literate adults often have highly developed coping skills and see little reason to upgrade their literacy level; (2) funding for illiterate adults is difficult to find because sources often expect yearly success rates, sometimes leading programs to accept only the better readers; and (3) quantitative tests tend to be geared to specific skills rather than relevant content. (Addresses and telephone numbers of seven resources are listed.) (CML)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Attendance, Basic Skills, Evaluation Problems, Functional Literacy, Grade Equivalent Scores, Literacy Education, Program Evaluation, School Holding Power, Student Recruitment, Tutors, Voluntary Agencies
Education Writers Association, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC.; Education Writers Association, Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see CE 054 736-748.