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ERIC Number: ED527478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Pages: 116
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
State Administration of the Even Start Family Literacy Program: Structure, Process and Practices. Doc # 2003-14
Tao, Fumiyo; Ricciuti, Anne; St.Pierre, Robert
US Department of Education
The Even Start Family Literacy Program addresses the basic educational needs of parents and children from birth through age seven from low-income families. The program provides unified, multi-component services consisting of (1) interactive literacy activities between parents and their children; (2) training for parents to be the primary teachers for their children and full partners in their children's education; (3) parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency; and (4) an age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life. This Study of State Administration of the Even Start Family Literacy Program was designed to systematically describe all major areas of Even Start administration at the state level and factors that facilitate or impede program improvement activities conducted by Even Start state coordinators. This information is intended to: (1) assist the federal Even Start staff to better target their guidance and technical assistance to states, and (2) provide state coordinators with descriptions of program administration practices in other states as a self-assessment guide. This study involved two components: (1) a survey of all state Even Start offices (state survey) and (2) case studies based on interviews with selected state coordinators through telephone calls or site visits. In many areas examined, the study found wide variations in states' practices. At the same time, the study findings provide a composite picture of the current status of state Even Start administration that can be characterized as follows: (1) State Even Start infrastructure is typically based on small staff resources; (2) Input of advisory groups and technical consultants is used to boost staff resources and provide technical expertise; (3) States have responded to the budget increase by increasing the number of new grantees (as well as giving larger grants to high-quality, existing projects), while making sure to apply rigorous selection criteria to maintain the quality of new grantees; (4) In making grant award decisions, states focus on local projects' ability to serve families most in need and to successfully implement the program; (5) States provide technical assistance to local projects on numerous issues including information regarding grant applications, new grantee orientation; performance indicators, assessment tools and standards; state and local evaluation, data collection and use, software, Web, and database use; program administration in general; collaboration, networking, and other existing literacy services; and program and curriculum standards and expectations; (6) On-site visits are used as the primary method of monitoring local project operations; these visits recently have begun to include monitoring of participant outcomes as well as program implementation and compliance; (7) All states planned to collect performance indicator data by the end of 2002 (some states having collected their first performance indicator data before 2002), but many states still face challenges regarding implementation of the performance indicator system; and (8) Many state coordinators are taking an increasingly active, direct role in guiding local evaluation and planning systematic state-level evaluation strategies. Even the states that appear to have established organized, useful practices and procedures for administering Even Start experience new and continuing challenges. However, this study found creative strategies that some states have devised to bolster their effectiveness in leading the states' program improvement efforts (e.g., in improving the quality of subgrant applications, provision of technical assistance, monitoring of local project activities, and expanding the state Even Start administrative capacity). Appended are: (1) Evaluation Questions, Data Collection and Analysis Methods; and (2) Case Study Sample Design and Selection. (Contains 35 exhibits and 36 footnotes.)
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education (ED), Office of the Under Secretary