State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General



Arizonaís Family Literacy Program (March 2000, Report No. 00-3)


The goal of the Arizona Family Literacy Program is to improve the basic academic and literacy skills of economically and educationally disadvantaged parents and their preschool children in an effort to break the intergenerational cycles of poverty and illiteracy. In this, the fourth evaluation, we found that the program is having a positive impact. However, in general, the program is not as effective in all areas as the Even Start and Early Childhood Block Grant programs.

In this evaluation, we report four findings: The first highlights the need for ADE to continue to increase program monitoring and oversight of the contracted providers for the purpose of improving site compliance with program criteria. We found compliance problems among providers in several key areas, and we believe this may be reducing the programís effectiveness.

The second finding describes the adult education outcomes, which are generally positive, yet similar to Even Startís outcomes. We could not assess adult basic education skills because too few participants took the required tests. Furthermore, we found that Family Literacy participantsí progress in attaining a GED is slower than Even Start participants.'

The third finding addresses the parenting skills outcomes. In general, adults showed improvement in parenting attitudes and behaviors. Both the Family Literacy and Even Start programs had similar outcomes related to parenting behaviors, but the Even Start program had a greater impact on parenting attitudes.

The fourth and final finding addresses the Family Literacy Programís preschool component, which continues to have an impact on increasing childrenís readiness to succeed in kindergarten. Although the Family Literacy children were younger on average than the Early Childhood Block Grant children, the two programs had essentially the same impact on language skills. However, the Early Childhood Block Grant preschool program had a greater impact on motor and problem-solving skills.

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