Sunday, October 19, 2014
1. CCAE Webinar - Thursday, October 23rd, 3:30 pm - the latest info and strategy ideas from CCAE - the California Council for Adult Education. CCAE puts special focus on K12 Adult Schools - their future, their funding.
2. CATESOL State Conference - Thursday, October 23 through Sunday, October 26 - Santa Clara.
Student Leaders from San Mateo Adult School will present a workshop on Student Leadership and Community Building on Friday at 3:30 pm. Click here to see the full program. The conference attracts people from around the state so it's a good chance to share ideas and information. Friday evening folks interested in Adult Education will meet for dinner (location TBA).
3. AB86 Webinar - Friday, October 24th, 12 to 1 pm. This webinar will include an AB86 Summit Debrief. What does the AB86 Workgroup consider the results of the Summit to be? Find out at the webinar.
Additionally, you can see video from the AB86 Summit here (when they get that going).
And you can access material from the AB86 Summit here.
The summit was a very important event. It was the first real chance for folks from around the state - both teachers and admin - to share ideas, concerns, experiences, information - in person and all together. Much good came out of it. I highly recommend you watch the video and look over the materials.
4. Powerpoint from the Community College Academic Senate on Adult Ed and Non-Credit. This powerpoint is a good look inside how the Community College folks are approaching the Regional Consortia process. What is their perspective? What are their concerns? What are their ambitions? I highly recommend you look at it. To see it, go to the Resources page on the a4cas.org website and scroll down to the bottom of the page, in the Community College section. Click on the link for the powerpoint.
The Community College Academic Senate, in 2011, recommended that all Adult Education be delivered by the Community College system. It's always a good idea to know what they are thinking about and advocating for. They are a formal, recognized body with their own funding (which I am in the process of learning more about). The K12 Adult School community has no equivalent.
5. CTA State Council - October 24th to 26th. CTA is California Teachers Association, the larger of the two major teachers unions in California. Los Angeles is the biggest Adult School in California. Their union - UTLA - is associated with both CTA and CFT. CFT is California Federation of Teachers. CFT had its State Council in September.
What does CTA think about Adult Education? About K12 Adult Schools? About the new Regional Consortia? About funding - dual delivery or single stream through the Community College Chancellor's office? What does CFT think? Good questions - and if you are a member of one or both unions, you should be asking to find out. More importantly, you should be speaking up to help decide the policy.
6. Tuesday, November 4th - The Election. Most important bit for Adult Ed: State Superintendent. The State Superintendent is the head of CDE - the California Department of Education - meaning, the boss of the K12 side of things.
The current Superintendent is Tom Torlakson, who famously said, when Governor Brown wanted to put all Adult Ed inside the Community College system, "If ain't broke, don't fix it!" Where does Torlakson stand on funding for Adult Education? Dual Delivery? Single stream through the Community College Chancellor's Office? He hasn't said. Which means we need to ask until he answers.
Running against against Torlakson is Marshall Tuck, the son of a retired Older Adults instructor at San Mateo Adult School. Does that mean Tuck is a big fan of Adult Ed, K12 Adult Schools, and Older Adults programming? Doesn't seem like it, based on what he's said and done. Tuck is known as the former hedge fund manager who is a fan of charter schools. But find out for yourself what Tuck does and doesn't want for Adult Ed and K12 Adult Schools by asking him.
Most politicians start out wanting to serve the public. Many are pulled off course by the need for campaign money. What is campaign money for? It's for reaching voters. If we do the reaching, they don't have the spend the money on sending us flyers that we throw in the recycling bin or buying ads on tv that we don't watch. Call their campaign offices and ask them what they want for Adult Education and K12 Adult Schools.
If they want your vote, they can earn it by giving you answers. They don't have to spend any money to tell you what they think. It's a win-win for everyone.
If there's one thing I've learned in the Grand Adventure of Pushing for the Survival and Thrival of Adult Education, especially Community-Based K12 Adult Schools, while the Whole Country Thrashes and Shakes in a Struggle for Who Decides What Public Education Will Be and Who Pays For It and Who Will Benefit From It.... it's this:
It's our state. It's our country. It's our election. These are our schools, our people, our future, our decisions.
And in some way, no matter how powerless we sometimes feel or in in part are, at the same time, we always have power.
The trick is remembering to use it.
Power = Responsibility = Choice.
What you choose to look into, learn about, ask about, speak about... this is your power.
How will you use it?
Your choices help determine what's next.
What do you choose?
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
|Date and time:|| Thursday, October 23, 2014 3:00 pm|
|Duration:||1 hour 15 minutes|
We will be hosting our second webinar to provide an update on the status of adult education activities in and around Sacramento as well as to check in with you in the field regarding your grassroots activity.
Our Legislative and Governmental Budget Advocate, Dawn Koepke, will be discussing the latest insights on the state budget discussions, obtaining feedback from you in the field on your activities, and discussing next steps for action to protect K-12 Adult Schools.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
C A L I F O R N I A
- Avoids another level of bureaucracy
- Keeps the adult education connected to the district and allows it to serve the needs of parents and credit recovery for high school students
- Avoids conflicts with facility usage
|Better put it on.|
Monday, October 6, 2014
Last Tuesday, September 30, "Red Letter Day," students all over California wrote letters to Governor Brown to share their experience at San Mateo Adult School, express their support for Adult Education, and advocate for Dedicated Funding for Adult Schools.
San Mateo Adult School High School Diploma Student William Gonzalez shares his letter here:
Sunday, October 5, 2014
All AB86 Adult Education Regional Consortia were invited to send representatives to attend the AB86 Adult Education Regional Planning Summit on Monday, October 6, 10:30AM - 5:00PM and Tuesday, October 7, 8:00AM - 3:00PM at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento (1230 J Street, Sacramento, CA).
The Summit will bring together Adult Education leaders from across the state to engage in a conversation about how to better serve the educational needs of adults in California. Summit participants will have a chance to share what they’ve learned during this planning process and to learn of promising practices from their peers. The Summit will also provide an opportunity to contribute to the statewide adult education planning effort and to hear from legislators. Representatives from all 70 adult education regions as well as the State AB86 Work Group and Cabinet will be in attendance at the event.
All plenary sessions will be live-streamed and recorded so that those who weren’t able to attend in person can listen in on the event.
Click here to see the agenda for a schedule of live streaming times.
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE AGENDA
There are many questions swirling around the new Regional Consortia system. This summit is the chance to ask questions and share answers.
Before we think about questions for the summit, let's start with these questions:
* Is your Regional Consortia sending representatives?
* Who are they sending?
* How were those representatives chosen?
* Do you know what your representatives hope to do or find out at the summit? Have you connected with them? Have your shared your questions and concerns with them?
* Will your representatives share what they learn with you? Does your Regional Consortia have good communication? Is there a way you can find out what is happening and then share the information with others?
* If you don't know the answer to any of these questions, what can you do to get some answers? And how can you improve the situation so there is better communication?
That is one set of important questions.
Now let's look at questions we hope are asked at the summit.
Here are some of my questions and some questions that others have shared with me:
* What - exactly - can AB86 do to ensure good behavior within the Regional Consortia?
* If AB86 (the Cabinet and the Workgroup) can't do much to ensure good behavior, who - exactly - can?
* Many organizations, entities, and grassroots groups are advocating for Dedicated Funding for K12 Adults to ensure equity in the Regional Consortia. What power does AB86 have - if any - to address this concern?
* What can AB86 do - if anything - to address concerns about low-level learner needs being met in the new mission of Adult Education? These concerns are well articulated by the Migration Policy Institute in this powerpoint.
* Many are not happy with the new mission of Adult Education, which is primarily a CCR - College & Career Readiness approach plus Disabled Adults. Where can those of us who hope to reinstate state support for a broader mission go to advocate such?
* State funding vacuums are invitations for privatization. This quote from an Edsurge article epitomizes that: "While adult education has long been a “hidden” market, its programs often “shoved off in a corner,” all that seems to be changing, says to Pearson SVP Jason Jordan. “Suddenly it’s becoming a much more interesting marketplace." How concerned is AB86 about privatization? What power - if any - does AB86 have to address these concerns. If AB86 does not have power, who does?
Got more questions? Send them in an email to cyn and then dot and then eagleton and then the at sign and then gmail and then dot and then com and I'll add them to the list.
|Mt Shasta, well-spring of the Mighty Sacramento,|
with lenticular clouds
Friday, September 26, 2014
From CATESOL News:CATESOL News | Category: Adult, Levels
By KRISTEN PURSLEY
—The current system of funding California’s adult schools sunsets at the end of this school year. After that, the future is uncertain. The only plan for funding adult schools after 2015 consists of a vague intention, stated in the 2012 state budget, to fund them through the regional consortia that include representatives of K-12–based adult schools and community colleges. All consortium funding would come through the Community College Chancellor’s Office. Supposedly some of the money would go to fund K-12 adult schools, but the amount of and delivery system have yet to be worked out.
The Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO), in its 2012 report, “Restructuring California’s Adult Education System,” recommended that California’s adult schools be restored as a stand-alone categorical program in 2015, reasoning that such funding was necessary to begin rebuilding California’s decimated adult schools; however, while the LAO’s suggestions drive much of the change now sweeping adult schools, there are no plans to reinstate categorical status for adult schools.
Adult school advocates have begun to call for dedicated funding for adult schools, either through categorical status as recommended by the LAO, or through some other plan yet to be developed. Without dedicated adult school funding, adult education in California may become far more inaccessible than it already is, and K-12 districts may lose the valuable support they receive from their adult schools.
Under the current plan, all money for adult education will be routed through the community colleges, and there are no requirements that some or any of the money must be spent on adult schools. There is nothing to prevent community colleges from spending the money on their own needs first, even to the point of starving the adult schools within their consortium area. Potentially, the devastation wrought by categorical flexibility could continue under another name, with adult schools continuing to close down, and adult education in California growing ever more unavailable from those who need it the most.
Adult schools are more accessible than community colleges, in part because there are more of them. California has about 300 adult schools. The state has about 112 community colleges, mostly in urban areas. Rural areas, if they are served at all, are likely to be served by an adult school. While all adult schools and community colleges are now joined in consortia, some of those consortia must cover vast areas. California’s three northernmost counties of Del Norte, Siskiyou, and Modoc have one community college among them, College of the Siskiyous. One of California’s largest counties, Inyo, has no community college. These counties are not very populous, but people live there, and they need educational services. How will their adult schools fare when their budgets are controlled by a community college far away?
Even in urban areas, adult schools are more decentralized within their service areas than community colleges. Adult school classes in K-12 schools, churches, community centers, and nonprofit organizations provide access to adult school students, who often have limited access to transportation. Even for those who do own cars, the parking fees at community colleges can be an insupportable expense. Students do not find this barrier at their adult school sites.
To maintain the accessibility adult schools provide, the state needs to commit to providing them with their own funding.
Support for K-12 Schools
Adult schools provide significant support to the mission of K-12 schools, and they need dedicated funding through the K-12 schools to continue the close relationship with their districts. Adult schools increase parent involvement in children’s schools and help parents develop the skills to support their children’s school success through English as a Second Language, Family Literacy, and Parent Education classes at school sites. Adult school High School Diploma, GED, and Adult Basic Education programs help school districts provide basic literacy to all Californians. If community colleges control adult schools’ purse strings, they might not see the value of programs that primarily support K-12 schools. Dedicated adult school funding would assure that adult schools could continue to provide vital support to school districts.
If all adult school funding comes through the community colleges, school districts may come to regard their adult schools as alien. This could threaten features of adult school programs that have long successfully supported K-12 programs, such as Family Literacy and ESL classes that meet at K-12 school sites. While the state has supposedly committed to an adult education system that includes both community colleges and adult schools, the lines between the two systems are significantly blurred when all the money comes through one system.
Finally, the state needs to establish clarity regarding its intentions toward adult schools. The lack of dedicated funding for adult schools gives rise to the suspicion that the state’s support for adult schools is an illusion, and that the consortia are simply a slower and less obvious route to the governor’s original plan to make community colleges the single provider of adult education in the state. If all the money comes through one system, in what sense do we actually have two systems? The people of California have demonstrated their support for adult schools; only through dedicated funding can the state assure that adult schools will survive.
For more information about dedicated funding for California’s adult schools, see:
Kristen Pursley is the Adult Level assistant chair of CATESOL.
She works at West Contra Costa Adult Education.
She authors the Save Your Adult School Blog and is a long-time member of COSAS - Communities Organized to Support Adult Schools.
Monday, September 22, 2014
From World Education:
What Is The Adult Education System?The adult education system refers to programs across the US that offer instruction ranging from basic literacy and numeracy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to high school diploma equivalency, and college and career readiness.
Need: In the US, over 30 million adults do not have a high school diploma and 20% of US adults with a high school diploma have only beginning literacy skills. The US ranked 21st in numeracy and 16th in literacy out of 24 countries in a recent assessment of adults' skills.i Two-thirds of U.S. adults scored at the two lowest levels of proficiency in solving problems in technology-rich environments. Yet, the publicly funded adult education system is able to serve only slightly over 2 million young and older adults per year.ii There are waiting lists for classes in all 50 states.iii Current funding cannot begin to meet the need.
Providers: Adult education programs operate as free-standing organizations or as part of school districts, community colleges, municipalities, multi-services centers, libraries, faith-based organizations, housing developments, workplaces, and unions. Instruction is delivered by mostly part-time teachers and volunteer tutors.
Teacher Preparation: Given that the majority of adult education teachers do not receive pre-service training beyond an orientation, in-service training is critical to ensure high quality services.
Funding: The national, average annual expenditure per adult learner is around $800. By contrast, the national, average annual per-pupil expenditure on public elementary and secondary education nationally is over $10,000. Adult education programs receive less than 10% of the amount of federal, state, and local funding that goes to K-12, and less than 5% of what is spent to support higher education.iv
Who Are The Adult Learners?Working Poor or Those Looking for Work: In 2010-11, 41% of adults enrolled in adult basic education were unemployed and 31% were employed; the rest were not in the labor force.v Enrollments in adult education have skyrocketed across the nation during the recession as adults are laid off and unable to find new jobs.
Youth: Every year, over three million youth drop out of school.vi They join the 6.7 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market.vii When they decide to complete their education, they enroll in adult education.
Immigrants: By 2030, nearly one in five US workers will be an immigrant.viii English Language Learners are a rapidly growing population across the nation.
Parents: Most adult learners are parents and primary caregivers of school-age children. Many are motivated to return to school by wanting to serve as better role models for their children and help their children succeed in school.
ADULT EDUCATION IS AN ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND THE NATION.A robust adult education system is an economic imperative for the economic prosperity of individuals and the nation. The US is falling behind other countries and cannot compete economically without improving the skills of its workforce. High school graduates and dropouts will find themselves largely left behind in the coming decade as employer demand for workers with postsecondary degrees continues to surge.
- Full-time workers with a high school diploma earn almost $10,000 more per year than those without a diploma. If they have some college, but no degree, they earn $14,000 more on the average.ix College graduates working full-time earn about $17,500 more a year than high school graduates.
- Adults without a high school diploma are more than twice as likely to be living in poverty as high school graduatesx and over three times more likely to be unemployed than adults with college degrees.xi
- By 2018, 63% of all US jobs will require education beyond high school.xii Yet, nearly half of the US workforce—about 88 million of 188 million adults aged 18 to 64—has only a high school education or less, and/or low English proficiency.xiii
Adult Education Helps Children and Families Thrive.One in four working families in our country is low income, and one in every five children lives in poverty.xiv Studies have concluded that programs designed to boost the academic achievement of children from low income neighborhoods would be more successful if they simultaneously provided education to parents.
- A mother's education level is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors, such as neighborhood and family income.xv
- Higher levels of education correlate to lower rates of chronic disease, such as asthma and diabetes, and fewer hospital visits for children and their caregivers.xvi
- In the U.S., the odds of reporting poor health are four times greater for low-skilled adults than for those with the highest proficiency—double the average of the other 23 countries that participated in the assessment of adult skills.xvii
Adult Education Strengthens Communities and Democracy.People with more education earn higher incomes and pay more taxes, which helps communities to prosper. They are less likely to be incarcerated and more motivated and confident to vote and make their voices heard on questions of public policy.
- Federal, state and local governments stand to gain $2.5 billion in tax revenue and reduced expenses for every 400,000 adults who earn a high school diploma.xviii
- Adult education makes communities safer. Inmate participation in adult education reduced recidivism by 29% according to a study of three states.xix Over 40% of all incarcerated adults in the US have not completed high school.xx
- Voting is strongly correlated to educational attainment. The voting rate for adults without a high school diploma was less than half the rate for those with advanced degrees in 2008.xxi
- In the U.S., more than in most other countries, 60% of those with lower academic skills feel that they have no influence on public decisions and the political process.xxii