Implementing the workforce investment act from in between: State agency responses to federal accountability policy in adult basic education

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Abstract

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) was the first legislation since 1991 to significantly revise federal funding for adult basic education (ABE). Federal ABE funds are distributed to state agencies that are in turn responsible for awarding the funds to local programs. In this role, the state agencies are in a pivotal in-between position in the policy process. This qualitative study identified and analyzed the ways in which preconditions that the state agencies' leadership created in four focal states helped shape their responses to new demands placed on them and the programs they fund by the new accountability system mandated by WIA. In particular, the findings look at how anticipating future policy changes, using relationships with the field, and using a professional development infrastructure influence the actions of state agencies when they function in between federal policy and local programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-588
Number of pages34
JournalEducational Policy
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

Keywords

  • Accountability system implementation
  • Adult basic education
  • State education agencies
  • Workforce Investment Act

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