Social Worker Loan Repayment Program Evaluation

Summer School Evaluation

“After School for All” Summer Programs Evaluation

Charter Schools Five-Year Review

Quality Management System for Vendor Payments

Adult Literacy Needs and Service Gaps

Adult Literacy Needs and Service Gaps
The District of Columbia Adult and Family Literacy Initiative provides literacy and adult education services to thousands of adults each year.  The Initiative has used data since its inception to guide its planning and to assess service needs.  However, it faced a significant data gap with respect to estimating the number of adults in need of literacy services in each Ward of the District.  Although a U.S. Department of Education survey had estimated the District-wide rate of low literacy for adults at 36%, no such Ward-level estimates existed.  The Initiative also lacked quality data on the number of persons served and types of services by Ward.

Kairos Management used statistical methods developed by other researchers, Census data, and data from the Initiative’s management information system to provide new information on literacy needs and service gaps in DC.  The project began with analysis of a method of creating synthetic estimates for geographic areas in which no direct estimates were available, a method developed under a federally-funded research study.  The statistical equation for estimating the incidence of low adult literacy in a geographic area was applied to DC Wards using Census data.  Kairos Management used a public database that ties census tracts to Wards in order to convert Census tract data to Ward-level data.  Census data at the Ward-level on English language proficiency and education status was also used to estimate adult education needs.

Kairos Management used an extract from the Initiative’s database of program participants to create Ward-level estimates of persons currently served by program type.  The comparison of adults currently served to estimates of need provided the first look at the gaps between needs and services by Ward. 

The Initiative was subsequently able to use this information to guide its sub-granting processes and to direct resources to areas of greatest need, as well as for reporting to stakeholders on the importance of continued adult literacy services.