Background, Perspectives, and Beliefs
Articles and reports that provide information on a variety of ideas and perspectives in the broad area of program improvement in adult education.

Volunteer Management Practices and Retention of Volunteers
The Urban Institute. June 2004.
This report is the second in a series of briefs reporting on findings from a 2003 survey of 3000 charities. It describes the characteristics of volunteer management and how these relate to retention. Research results are easily readable via the graphs.

By the Numbers: Using Data for Program Improvement
Literacy Assistance Center. 2002.
This article focuses on the importance of data gathering, reporting, and analyzing and its place in providing useful information and knowledge for program improvement. While the author writes from the perspective of being accountable to the National Reporting System (NRS), the information may be useful to adult education staff responsible for other systems of data collection. **This article is included in the October 2002 edition of "Literacy Update" and is not currently accessible as a separate document.

Leading from the Middle: The State Role in Adult Education and Literacy
Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL). 2002.
This publication is a primer on the state role in adult education and literacy.  It focuses on how well the states are performing their leadership functions, the extent of their current commitment, and what it will take to improve state leadership capacity and commitment in the future.

The Outcomes and Impacts of Adult Literacy Education in the United States
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL). 1999.
Outcomes are defined as "the changes that take place in learners as a result of their participation in adult literacy education" and impacts as "the changes in the family, community, and society" as a result of that participation. Based on an extensive study of outcomes and impacts research since the late 1960's, the author describes the critical role of outcomes and impacts in program accountability and program improvement. To access the abstracts of the studies reviewed, click here.

Contested Ground: Performance Accountability in Adult Basic Education
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and LIteracy (NCSALL). 1998.
This policy paper lays out key issues in performance accountability and presents recommendations for policy and action. It is based on the literature from education, government, management, and other fields, and draws on interviews with adult education administrators, practitioners and researchers.


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