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October 12, 2012
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Testing practices not in compliance at adult education program, college commended for quick action

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2012) — A review of student testing practices in the McCracken County Adult Education program found that the practices were not in compliance with state and federal policies and established ethical standards, according to Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) officials.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) is the provider for the McCracken County program. WKCTC officials took immediate action by initiating a review of the adult education program, securing student records and ensuring that services for students would continue uninterrupted. The college also promptly notified KYAE.

After conducting its own review in McCracken County, KYAE reported the testing issues to its federal partner, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, and to the state Auditor of Public Accounts office, which annually audits 25 percent of local adult education programs.

KYAE, a unit of the Council on Postsecondary Education, contracts with community and technical colleges, local boards of education, universities, educational cooperatives and community-based organizations to provide adult education services in Kentucky’s 120 counties. Adult education programs are supported by a mix of state and federal funds. KYAE is responsible for oversight of adult education programs and sets policy and accountability requirements.

Council on Postsecondary Education President Bob King commended the college for its prompt response.

“Once the issue was discovered, WKCTC President Barbara Veazey acted immediately and in a comprehensive way to assure the integrity of the program and its ongoing support of our students,” King said.

WKCTC has provided adult education services in McCracken County since July 1, 2004.

Students who enroll in KYAE-funded adult education programs must take the standardized Tests for Adult Basic Education (TABE) to establish a baseline educational level and for instructors to develop an education plan. After a course of instruction between 30 and 60 hours, students are required to be “progress” tested to determine if they have advanced or achieved an educational level gain.

To remain in good standing with KYAE, programs must demonstrate through TABE testing that at least 48 percent of enrolled students annually make an academic level gain. To earn incentive funding for the program, at least 54 percent of enrolled students must make a level gain. WKCTC has agreed to return to KYAE any incentive funding based on student testing that was not in compliance.

Officials stress that GED testing has been administered appropriately, and all GED credentials have been awarded in compliance with standards set by the national GED Testing Service (GEDTS). As required by GEDTS, GED testing is separate from the adult education instructional program; therefore, it is not part of the student testing review.

KYAE continues to work with WKCTC to ensure the academic and financial integrity of the program as well as the continuation of high-quality services to adult students.

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