- III. Operational Planning Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—
- b. State Operating Systems and Policies
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the State operating systems and policies that will support the implementation of the State strategy described in section II Strategic Elements. This includes—
- b. State Operating Systems and Policies
III. b. 4. A. Assessment of Core Programs
Describe how the core programs will be assessed each year based on State performance accountability measures described in section 116(b) of WIOA. This State assessment must include the quality, effectiveness, and improvement of programs broken down by local area or provider. Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.
DWD utilizes a variety of processes and reporting tools for regular monitoring of program performance to drive quality improvement and effectiveness. Some of the methods utilized are outlined below:
- Programmatic and Fiscal Monitoring: DWD conducts regular monitoring of each Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA) to examine compliance with statutory, regulatory, and policy-driven requirements, as well as identify areas in need of administrative, financial management, programmatic, and/or systemic improvement. WIOA Title I programs are monitored on an annual basis and formal reports are issued identifying compliance findings, areas of concern, and best practices. Additional information regarding the DWD monitoring process is available at: https://www.in.gov/dwd/files/3511/2015-06-P_Interim_Monitoring.pdf. DWD also conducts regional quality reviews where monitoring results and performance metrics are discussed in-person with each local area as a means of technical assistance and quality improvement. These efforts help to inform technical assistance and training needs, drive discussions and information sharing regarding best practices, and development of procedural guidance.
- Federal Performance Metrics: DWD currently follows the six primary indicators of performance described under section 116(b)(2)(A) of WIOA. The agency provided the Local Area Tool created by U.S. DOL-ETA with pre-populated local WDB data as a basis for the local area negotiations. DWD proposed the local performance goals for each region be the same as the state’s performance goals. Each region accepted the proposal and agreed to the state performance goals for each of the six primary indicators of performance for WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth; Wagner-Peyser; and TAA. Additional detail regarding the process utilized to negotiate these goals was provided to the local WDBs via the “Negotiating Local Area Performance Goals for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Programs for Program Years 2018 and 2019” memorandum available at: https://www.in.gov/dwd/files/3511/2018-JUL-11-M_PY18_PY19_Negotiating_Local_Area_Perf_Goals_WIOA_T1.pdf. DWD also developed and maintains a Federal Performance Measures dashboard that enables staff and workforce partners to efficiently analyze years’ worth of Local Area Reports in one location. This information is available on the DWD Performance Portal at: www.in.gov/dwd/RPM.htm.
- State Performance Metrics: DWD established additional regional performance metrics to improve the efficacy of Indiana’s workforce development system. DWD’s State Performance Metrics project complements and supplements Federal reporting measures. The State Performance Measures are made available on the DWD Performance Portal at: www.in.gov/dwd/RPM.htm.The State Performance Metrics are gathered and negotiated in collaboration with Indiana’s twelve (12) regional WDBs. The current State Performance Metrics and the process and timelines for negotiations are outlined in the policy available at: https://www.in.gov/dwd/files/3511/2018-02-P_State_Performance_Metrics.pdf.
- Adult Education Assessment Strategies: In order to monitor and evaluate the quality of adult education activities, program management, fiscal management, data management, and performance measures are continuously assessed. Informal and formal monitoring, desk audits, data checks, and program visits are conducted by state central office staff, adult education coordinators, and the InTERS data team. Low performing programs are identified, in part, based on the accountability results described in section 116(b) of WIOA. Visits are made to low performing programs by a state team. Local programs develop professional development plans, target measurable skill gains to increase academic gains, and develop strategies to reduce student separations. Technical assistance and professional development are provided by state adult education coordinators and other members of the state team to further increase student success. Likewise, a comprehensive risk assessment is performed on all successful grantees from the Multi-Year Adult Education Competitive Grant Application (Request for Application) and the Multi-Year Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education Competitive Grant Application (Request for Application).
Based on these results, a number of adult education programs are selected for formal monitoring each year by a state monitoring team. On-site visits are made to view records and classes, and to interview personnel. Formal reports are forwarded to local providers after site visits, and programs out of compliance, are placed on corrective action plans monitored by the adult education coordinator assigned for that region. Programs are not released from corrective action plans until compliance is achieved and satisfactory progress is reached. Technical assistance is provided and professional development is customized for programs identified as low performing.
States negotiate yearly performance targets with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education with respect to the percentage of program participants who, during a program year, are in an adult education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment and who are achieving measurable skill gains toward a credential or employment. Indiana requires providers of adult education to meet similar state-negotiated WIOA metrics. Additionally, the state reviews the percentage of adults who are post-tested; the percentage of adults who exit the program without measurable skill gains; the percentage of adults who achieve measurable skill gains in distance education; and the percentage of adults who attain a high school diploma or equivalency.
At a minimum, each regional adult education coordinator reviews program performance monthly and communicates to area providers efforts toward meeting local, regional, and state performance targets. The goal is continuous improvement. Performance is also monitored daily by the InTERS data team. Each provider and region see how they perform compared to the state and to the same time a year ago. To provide further transparency, the state broadcasts a monthly webinar that extensively covers these metrics and related performance standards. A coordinated series of professional development and technical assistance opportunities are offered to support these efforts. Funded programs employ professional development facilitators (lead teachers) who support and promote these targets. Lead teachers are required to monitor goals and provide quarterly reports to the professional development state team who analyze Indiana’s strategies to meet these objectives.
In grant renewal years, funding is determined by past performance. A yearly performance scheduled is released at the start of each program year. The schedule outlines state priorities and performance accountability standards for future grant awards. Recent performance metrics included enrollment; measurable skill gains; high school diploma or equivalency; and certifications as core areas. Additionally, a companion schedule included Integrated Education and Training performance as a metric with focus on enrollments, completions, and certifications.