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EFF Resources for Managers/Administrators

Resources appear in the following categories:

Resources from EFF Partners

A Performance Standard for Teaching and Learning with the Equipped for the Future (EFF) Content Standards, 2000
In this article, Peggy McGuire, EFF Assessment Coordinator, describes EFF efforts to research and develop an assessment framework that supports the EFF Content Standards, allows the measurement of how well students are able to use their knowledge, and reports that information in a meaningful way.

The Change Agent
Adult Education for Social Justice: News, Issues, and Ideas

Issue 9, September 1999
Focus on Looking In, Looking Out: Reflections on adult basic education
Topics in this issue range from the growing emphasis on accountability and discussions on how to measure success and effectiveness in adult education to issues of funding and the challenges facing participatory classrooms and programs. EFF is featured in two articles: Bringing Community Into the Classroom and EFF and Accountability.

Contested Ground: Performance accountability in adult basic education, 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 researchers and adult education leaders at state and national levels. Its recommendations were informed by a discussion with a group of experienced adult education practitioners and researchers.

Equipped for the Future and Adult ESOL Instruction, 2000
EFF is a national standards-based initiative to reform the adult education and literacy system so that it better prepares adults for what they need to know and be able to do in today's world. This article by Andy Nash of the EFF National Center gives an overview of the EFF initiative, describes the EFF Content Framework, examines its relevance to English language learners, and discusses some of the challenges in applying the framework in the ESOL context.

Equipped for the Future: A Framework for Defining and Measuring Adult Competence, 2002
Sondra Stein, EFF National Director, describes the EFF approach to building an integrated system for developing, evaluating, and certifying competence. Written to be presented to an international audience, remarks focus around two critical junctures in the work and how EFF addressed them: 1. How to define competence to be sure that what you are focusing on is what is most important - or fundamental - to your purpose, and 2. How to be sure what you are measuring is what it is important to measure and not just what is possible - or easier - to measure.

Equipped for the Future: A Standards Based Approach to Defining and Measuring Results in the Adult Education and Literacy System, 2001
Sondra Stein, EFF National Director, delivered this paper to a group of experts in educational measurement and assessment and experts in adult education service delivery. The Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council sponsored the December 2001 meeting. Dr. Stein discussed: 1.How EFF has helped to redefine the results that the adult education system aims for; 2.How EFF is developing a system that measures those results for multiple purposes and audiences; 3.What the implications of EFF work are for measuring and reporting learner gains.


Focus on Basics
Connecting Research and Practice

Volume 3, Issue C, September 1999
Standards-Based Education

The theme of this issue is standards-based education. Regie Stites provides an overview of standards-based education, defining performance standards, content standards, and opportunity to learn standards. Sondra Stein writes about the history of EFF and its role in system change on the national level. Jane Meyer discusses her Even Start's program's use of a standards-based approach, explaining that EFF has made it easier for everyone involved (learners, teachers, administrators) to articulate clearly what they are accomplishing. Jim Carabell, from Vermont, describes his slow conversion to an EFF standards-based approach. Esther Leonelli presents examples of math activities that represent values embodied in the NCTM math standards. Brian Kane, of Washington state, discusses the rewards and challenges of implementing a standards-based approach on the state level.

Story of Improvement, 1998
An honest look told this literacy program they were not as good as they might be. It was time to listen to stakeholders and institute a continuous improvement process and total quality management principles, such as those used in the Baldrige awards.


Related Resources Supportive of EFF Program Practices

Assessment and Accountability: A Modest Proposal, 1998
Given the reporting requirements, what are the prospects of an alternative assessment system being able to rival the standardized tests currently in vogue? This article investigates the assessment and accountability landscape in adult literacy and what can be done to help shape new directions on the national or state level, while continuing to strive for sane assessments within and across local programs. More document info

Assessments and Accountability, 2000 (This link temporarily unavailable)
This article reviews the use of tests and assessments as key elements in educational reform during the past 50 years. Questions regarding the impact, validity, and generalizability of reported gains, and the credibility of results in high-stakes accountability uses are discussed. Emphasis is given to three issues regarding currently popular accountability systems: 1.the role of content standards, 2.the dual goals of high performance standards and common standards for all students, and 3.the validity of accountability models.

Creating Meaningful Performance Assessments, 1995
This ERIC digest provides concise definitions of performance assessment and summary points on validity and reliability in performance assessment.
More document info

CRESST Assessment Glossary, 1998
Glossary of terms used in assessment; terms are cross-referenced and defined.

Focus on Basics
Connecting Research and Practice

Volume 5, Issue B, Oct 2001
Adult Development

The articles in this issue of Focus on Basics are on adult development, including several about the NCSALL Adult Development Research Group study that examined how the developmental levels of learners shape their learning experiences in their adult literacy programs. Adult development has much to offer adult educators: it provides one window through which we can understand learners and therefore better meet their needs. As in most fields of research and theory, adult development has a variety of "camps" - different schools of thought on how adults develop.

How People Learn: Brain, mind, experience and school, 2000
This popular trade book, originally released in the spring of 1999, has been expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior. This edition includes far-reaching suggestions for research that could increase the impact that classroom teaching has on actual learning. More document info

Implementing Performance Assessment in the Classroom, 1998
The benefits of performance-based assessments are well documented, but some teachers are hesitant to implement them in their classrooms. This ERIC Digest outlines the basic steps that teachers can take to plan and execute effective performance-based assessments: 1. Defining the assessment's purpose, 2. Choosing the activity, 3. Defining the criteria, 4. Creating performance rubrics, and 5.Assessing the performance.

Knowing What Students Know: The science and design of educational assessment, 2001
An explanation of how advances in the scientific fields of human learning and educational measurement can form the foundations of an improved approach to assessment that is more valid and instructionally useful. Principles for designing and using these new kinds of assessments are presented, with illustrative examples. Implications for policy, practice, and research are also explored. More document info

Learning to Think, Learning to Learn: What the science of thinking has to offer adult education, 2000
This report reviews major topics on learning as applied to teaching adult basic education and literacy -- including memory, critical thinking, motivation, problem-based learning and transfer of learning from classes to real life. Each chapter includes a review of the topic, implications for teachers, and lesson ideas based on cognitive research. More document info


NCSALL Report #19a

Toward a New Pluralism in ABE/ESOL Classrooms: Teaching to multiple "cultures of mind," 2001
When adults enter ABE/ESOL programs how do the systemic ways they make meaning affect how they will best learn and what they will most need from adult education? A team of adult development psychologists carefully followed the inner experiences of learning and change of forty-one learners enrolled in three distinct programs (community college, family literacy, and workplace) each oriented to improving effectiveness as workers, parents or students. More document info

Performance Assessments for Adult Education: Exploring the Measurement Issues: Report of a Workshop, 2002
Jointly commissioned by the National Institute for Literacy and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education, this report was designed to provide both agencies with background information on how to set quality guidelines for alternative assessments. While the explicit focus of the study is performance assessment, the report provides clear and useful information about quality criteria for all assessments used for both formative (teaching and learning) and summative (reporting) purposes. It also examines challenges of assessment particular in adult education. More document info

The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture, 2000 (This link temporarily unavailable)
This article is about classroom assessment -- not the kind of assessments used to give grades or to satisfy the accountability demands of an external authority but rather the kind of assessment that can be used as a part of instruction to support and enhance learning. More document info

Standards: Making them useful and workable for the education enterprise, 1997
This white paper focuses on "taking stock" of how standards, most specifically how skill standards, are being used within the education enterprise and the ways they could be used more efficiently and effectively. It builds upon lessons learned over the past five years from 22 national pilot projects charged with the development of skill standards. Lessons are drawn from states' efforts to build standards into education reform efforts, with a special emphasis on the systemic change efforts promulgated under the School-To-Work Opportunity Act.

State of Performance Assessments, 2000
This article explores the concept and outcomes of standards-based assessment.

The University of Colorado at Denver Constructivism Website, 2002
This website offers definitions, overviews, readings, and reflections on constructivism (cognitive and social), constructivist learning theory, and constructivism and education. Articles include the work of Jerome Bruner, John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky.