Policies and Procedures to Ensure Data Quality
September 2, 2010
Dear ABE Program Directors,
The purpose of this letter is to notify you of two new policies for ensuring data quality, and to reaffirm existing ones.
Through many venues, including regional meetings, in task forces, at annual ABE Directors' Meetings, ACLS has heard the field call for an ABE system that holds local providers accountable for the outcomes they achieve, while granting strong performers local discretion in how they design and run their programs to achieve those outcomes. This call for a focus on outcomes echoes the guidance of the ABE Advisory Council, which calls for an ABE system that directs funding to the providers that are achieving results, and that provides consequences for programs that are not achieving results.
As we move toward the future, ABE program performance will have an increasing impact on both a program's success in competing for funds and its eligibility for continued funding throughout a multi-year funding cycle. With a growing focus on outcomes over process, it becomes progressively more important that the quality of the data used to measure performance is consistent and accurate, across the state.
In FY 2011, the Department will implement two new policies for ensuring data quality: a new policy to ensure timely data entry and a new data quality assurance requirement. These will reinforce existing measures, such as data audits and the requirement for each program to maintain two staff people proficient in SMARTT and Cognos.
The purpose of all of these measures, new and continuing alike, is to ensure that Massachusetts data is accurate, and that the system is fair -- all programs are playing on a level field and accurately reflecting student participation in a consistent manner.
With Literacy in Mind,
State Director of Adult Education