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About Adult Education Statistics

There are several sources of data on adult education. It isn't easy for the public to find out simple things, like how many Rhode Islanders get high school equivalencies each year, unless you discover #1 below. Numbers vary from one source to another, so another problem is how to harmonize the data. I've spent some time at this, but maybe I am missing something, so I invite readers, and especially AE professionals, to advise and/or send corrections and suggestions.

  1. US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) National Reporting System. (Click the button for public access. You don't need a password to use it.) This is a consistent and reliable source for number of people achieving high school equivalencies, participant age, ethnicity and sex, educatiional functional level, and many more statistics, for program years 1997-1998 through 2014-2015. Comparable data for every state is here, for contrasting Rhode Island's performance with, for instance, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
  2. National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE). 2016 Blue Book. Page 48 (of 61) covers Rhode Island. Brief, graphical presentation for each of the states. [July 30, 2019: The NCSDAE is now the NASDAE, National Association of State Directors or Education. I found a copy of the 2016 Blue Book on a Maryland AE page. The 2017 Blue Book is on NASDAE.]
  3. RI Department of Education (RIDE) Information and Accountability. Most of the data concerns K-12 students and public schools, rather than adult education participants. Some relevant links are:
    1. Enrollment, Dropout, and Graduation Data
    2. RI DataHub story: Adult Education - Improving RI's Workforce, which has data in it.
    3. RI DataHub Reports on graduation rates

  4. Building the Critical Links, 2004. Interesting but not much data, except there were 11,000 students and  404 full- and part-time professionals in 2004, compared to about 5,800 students and 374 (according to OCTAE)  full- and part-time professionals in 2013. The United Way Final Report, p. 2, states that in 2004, Rhode Island had 99 full-time and 305 part-time employed adult education instructors. But in 2015, there were 46 full-time and 202 part-time employed adult education instructors. Perhaps staff has been drastically reduced in the last 2 years?
  5. United Way studies and reports
    1. Adult Education in RI 2004-2015. Summary Brief. There are graphs and data in this; also check the references.
    2. A Retrospective Summary of Adult Education in Rhode Island 2004-2015. Working Draft. Some graphs and data; also see references.
    3. Findings of the Adult Education Research & Convening Project Community Recommendations for Advancing Foundational Skills Development in Rhode Island, October 2015. See the Endnotes.