ERIC Number: ED393012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
The Infrastructure of Adult Literacy Education. Implications for Policy.
An adequate description of the infrastructure system of adult literacy education needs to address three levels: national, state, and local. At the national level, infrastructure is currently shaped primarily by the Adult Education Act (AEA), amended by the National Literacy Act of 1991. Given that the AEA is a state grant program, state literacy policy is critically important for an understanding of infrastructure. All states maintain a state adult literacy education office headed by an official designated as the state director. The local level is the point at which adult literacy instruction takes place. The state of development of local infrastructure varies considerably, one important variable being program size. The infrastructure for adult literacy education is at best rudimentary. Development has been constrained by insufficient funds, the prevalence of part-time programming, service fragmentation, and structural marginality. This has had a deleterious effect in three important areas: local programs' capacity to innovate and develop, the transmission of knowledge and critical information, and knowledge production. Infrastructure issues raised by recent legislative initiatives in Congress are block grants, resources, and eligibility for service. For improvement to occur, three things must happen: increased capacity at the local program level, strengthening of structures, and enhanced coordination and integration. (Contains 30 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Educational Development, Educational Finance, Educational Policy, Federal Government, Government Role, Literacy Education, Local Government, Program Effectiveness, Program Improvement, State Government
National Center on Adult Literacy, University of Pennsylvania, Publications, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 (order no. TR96-01).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.