Sunday, July 7, 2013

We've Got Tools

Opposable thumbs are not the only thing that make us human.
The ability to think and to ask questions, to consider past, present, and possible futures, are tools more important than thumbs.
And we've got 'em.
As the money from increased tax revenues and Prop 30 flows in, and we make choices about how and where to spend it on education, across the state, let's use 'em.
Here are some bits to help us:
Click the "read more" link to see them.

A4CAS - Alliance for California Adult Schools, in this video about SB 173, poses the question of whether we want to provide a little funding now - or a lot of funding later.
A4CAS also provided, on their FB page, a link to a slide show from
the Department of Adult Education at the CDE (California Department of Education) entitled,
The slide show was uploaded to the Slide Serve site in October of 2012.
It's a good slide show, filled with lots of enlightening facts.   And as you read through them, keep asking that question, "What's next?"  We the people, in our actions, help decide.
Wow.  That's a big one, folks.  A very, very big one.  It is not the aim of this blog to fully and adequately cover the issue of CCSF, but I do and have tried to cover it, because as noted, CCSF through its non-credit programs, is the provider of Adult Education in San Francisco.
As explained many times, California Adult Education is mostly provided through K12 Adult Schools, but in some places, such as San Francisco, it is provided through the Community College system.
Gov. Brown, in his first budget proposal, wanted all Adult Education provided through the Community College system.  The people and the Legislature of California said, "No!  Not a good idea!"  So the new plan is Regional Consortia:  combo platters of K12 Adult Schools, Community Colleges, Correctional Facilities, and other Agencies who will decide together how to provide Adult Ed in their regions.
How will that play out now in San Francisco, a city with a high need for Adult Ed?  Where CCSF is the primary provider of Adult Ed?  (I believe there is also some Adult Ed provided through the Correctional system, but I don't have full facts.)
We don't know.
And we also don't know how things will play out with CCSF because many possible futures exist to consider and choose from.  
Edsource and the Chronicle of Higher Ed are two good sources of information about what is happening at CCSF.  Save CCSF is a site for grassroots action and information from the ground.
As we think over these futures and continue to choose and cultivate new directions in all branches of public education, I'd like to add two more questions to the mix:
1.  How did we get here?  Was it intentional?  Or did we find ourselves in this place after a series of unfortunate events?  And now we're making intentional choices about how get out of situations we never intended to get into, in the first place?
2.  Where do we want to go from here, remembering that unfortunate events are a predictable part of human existence?  And by predictable, I do not mean that you can predict what will happen when - only that most certainly, something bad will happen that will throw a monkey wrench in the mix.  And then you'll need to put on your thinking cap to get your engine going again.
We're pretty amazing beings, humans.
Minds, hearts, thinking caps, opposable thumbs.
We're good at getting into messes but we're good at getting out them, too.
Remember that, when the going gets messy.
And reminder: You can always wear gloves!

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