Is Your College Ready For The Report Card

January
1998
Len Price, Chair

The First Report Cards that Assess Community College Vocational Education programs will be disseminated March 31, 1998.

SB 645 (Johnston), The Job Training Report Card bill was signed into law October 11, 1997. Under this law the State Job Training Coordinating Council (SJTCC) is responsible for oversight of employment and training programs at the state level.

This bill would require the State Job Training Coordinating Council to establish a subcommittee with a specified membership to develop an education and job training report card program to assess the accomplishments of California's work force preparation system. The bill would require the subcommittee or an operating entity under contract to the subcommittee to compile information on the performance of state and federally funded education and training programs, as specified, and to issue annual report cards for all providers of these programs measuring the effectiveness of the individual providers and of the various programs that constitute the state's work force development system. The subcommittee or operating entity would also issue a statewide report card measuring the effectiveness of the entire system of work force preparation.

This system shall measure the performance of state and federally funded- education and training programs. Programs to be measured may include programs in receipt of funds from the Job Training Partnership Act, the Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills program, the Food Stamp Employment and Training program, the Wagner Peyser Act, the employment Training Panel, adult education programs as defined by paragraph (9) of subdivision (b) of Section 10521, vocational education programs, and certificated community college programs.

The outcome measures that have been approved by the committee to be in the report card are:

1. Employment Rate
2. Length of Employment Retention
3. Earnings Before and After Program Participation
4. Rate of Change in Unemployment Insurance Status
5. Rate of Change in Status from Tax Receiver to Tax Payer
6. Rate of Advancement to Public, Post-Secondary Education
As SB 645 did not specify the customers for the report cards, the PBA Committee identified the following:
State and federal funding and oversight agencies such as the Governor, the legislature, and the federal Departments of Labor and Education
State and local-level agencies that provide workforce preparation services and service delivery system operators such as the California Community Colleges, operators of other state and federally-funded programs, and One-Stop Career Centers operators;
Individuals interested in jobs and careers; and,
Employers interested in selecting training providers for their employees, employers interested in hiring training providers' graduates, and employers desiring to have an influence on the quality of workforce preparation programs.
The Applied Management Planning Group has been contracted by the SJTCC to produce the report card. The following is part of a report they made to the SJTCC.

Public dissatisfaction with the perceived performance of job training and vocational education has generated a host of new federal and state performance requirements to improve the accountability of programs. These requirements are part of a larger effort to improve the transition from school to work and to speed the transfer of displaced workers to new jobs. New legislation proposed by the Clinton administration embodies many of these national goals. The National Research Council's Committee on Post secondary Education and Training for the Workplace recently conducted a comprehensive study which concluded that improved information is the key to improving post secondary training. In the words of the Committee:

"The absence of good information about results.means that individuals seeking training have to select among available options without knowing much about the track record of different training routes or providers. The lack of reliable evidence regarding impacts also makes it impossible to judge the cost effectiveness of much post secondary training.Finally, this lack of information about results makes it difficult for policy makers to allocate public resources to programs that are most likely to help their intended audiences."

California can take the lead in addressing this problem by creating a comprehensive follow-up system for vocational education and training programs which includes occupational information as well as data on earnings and employment.

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