ERIC Number: ED378394
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Proxy Measurement of Adult Basic Skills: Lessons from Canada.
Murray, T. Scott
"Proxy" measures have been developed and applied that extend the usefulness of direct assessments of adult basic skills. Three categories of users of data on adult literacy are as follows: (1) government authorities who need objective data to inform the decision-making process; (2) program delivery institutions who require an assessment tool to diagnose individual student needs, information to guide their own program and product development, and information to justify government funding; and (3) individuals who require information to define their own need for remedial training and to marshal societal awareness and maintain the political will to justify continuing investment. Prevailing approaches to measurement have been criticized for several reasons: a common definition of literacy is not feasible or desirable and the estimates derived from statistics are useless due to measurement error. The Canadian experience offers insight into the implications of direct assessments for proxy measures in three areas: correction factors for estimates of educational attainment-based proxy measures, identification of new proxy measures that could be collected, and proxy skills for small areas. The availability of new and improved proxy measures can then affect the design and output of the direct assessments themselves. Direct assessments could be administered at greater intervals; the basic objectives should be reconsidered; and more informed multivariate analysis is needed. Appendixes include three data tables. Contains 27 references. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Developed Nations, Estimation (Mathematics), Evaluation Methods, Evaluation Utilization, Foreign Countries, Literacy Education, Measurement Techniques
National Center on Adult Literacy, Dissemination, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 (order no. TR94-18: $7).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers - Location: Canada