Handbook for Sustaining Standards-Based Education in Adult Education

This handbook helps state leaders improve the odds of generating sustained organizational support for standards-based reforms.
Resource URL:
Author(s): 
Susan Pimentel
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
Susan Pimentel, Inc.
RTI International
Published: 
2014
Keywords: 
Standards, Sustainability, Content Standards, Implementation Research
Number of Pages: 
88
Product Type: 
Training Or Professional Development Material
Target Audience: 
Local Program Administrators, Professional Developers, Researchers, State Staff
Abstract: 

The Handbook for Sustaining Standards-Based Education in Adult Education was prepared by RTI International as part of the Promoting College and Career Readiness Standards in Adult Basic Education project under contract to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), Contract # ED-CFO-10-A-0117/0001. 

The purpose of this handbook is to help state leaders improve the odds of generating sustained organizational support for standards-based reforms, so that leaders can develop long-lasting roots for promising reforms and propagate them system-wide. The handbook presents a strategic framework, based on significant research, to assist with the full implementation of effective reforms in adult education programs that may otherwise be resistant to instructional and curricular transformations. The framework identifies four over-lapping and interconnected stages for innovation advocates to move through to achieve long-term sustainability for their standards-based reform. The handbook is organized around the four stages of the sustainability framework and includes completed sustainability materials, for each stage, produced by adult educators in Kentucky and Montana.

The stages of sustainability, although adapted for use in adult education, come largely from the research of Linda Taylor, Perry Nelson, and Howard S. Adelman (1999) and Adelman and Taylor (1997 and 2003). Complementing their work is the research of Paul Light (1998) and the National Implementation Research Network (Fixsen et al. 2005) that has served as the basis for other OCTAE projects related to implementing and sustaining innovations. 

Benefits and Uses: 

The handbook provides users with opportunities to:

  • Follow the progress of standards implementation in the states of Kentucky and Montana from demonstration projects to full implementation of adult education content standards, and access their full implementation plans.
  • Understand the Four Sustainability Stages and how they fit together. The stages of sustainability include: 1.Creating Readiness: Enhancing the Climate for Change; 2.Garnering Support: Mobilizing Interest, Consensus, and Backing among Key Stakeholders; 3.Institutionalizing the Initiative: maintaining Changes through Existing Policies and Practices; and 4.Initiating a Scale-Up Plan: Sustaining Momentum, Progress, and Creative Renewal.
  • Improve the odds of generating sustained organizational support for standards-based reforms, so that leaders can develop long-lasting roots for promising reforms and propagate them system-wide.
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