As funding becomes tighter and more streamlined, data is more now a key indicator of accountability in service delivery. Practitioners, parents, students and funders are all becoming accustomed to seeing various measures for how learning, programs and systems are evaluated. At the same time, those working in educational settings often wonder about how data can be used for purposes beyond Return on Investment; in particular, how to employ data to help improve programs and outcomes for students. The integration of Literacy and Basic Skills, as part of Employment Ontario, has led many to wonder how to link data and accountability to program improvement.
Norman Rowen is well known to the literacy and essential skills community through works such as More Walls than Doors, People Over Programs, the Common Writing Assessment (with Neil Graham) and Another Step Forward (with Mary Ellen Belfiore) and JobLink: Who Cares? the evaluation of the provincial OBS JobLink program, among others. His most recent contributions include work to support the new OALCF including the Learner Plan Template and a discussion paper on Service Coordination. He was a volunteer tutor and founding director of Parkdale Project Read.
Norman also designed, developed and was the initial program director of the Pathways to Education Program in Regent Park for the Program’s first five years. He continued to support the program and its replication as an original staff member and first Director of Research for Pathways to Education Canada, which now supports Pathways programs in eleven communities across Canada. He has spoken about Pathways and its lessons across Canada; and has written several articles along with Pathways founder Carolyn Acker. Pathways is one of twelve international initiatives featured in Charles Leadbeater Innovations in Education (2012)