Thursday, November 28, 2013

A List To Unlock Our Power

Regarding Adult Education, on this Thanksgiving Day, we have much to be grateful for:

Hit the "read more" link to see the list.

1.  Passage of Prop 30.

2.  May Revise that kept K12 Adult Schools alive.

3.  MOE Clause that keeps pressure on K12 School Districts to keep K12 Adult Schools open.

4.  Increased activism all across the state from a wide variety of communities and programs.

5.  Increased student voice and activism and increased acknowledgement that it is needed.

6.  Increased cooperation between those working to save and rebuild Adult Education.

7.  Increased understanding of the value of Adult Education.

8.  Increased support and advocacy for Adult Education and K12 Adult Schools from the public, the Legislature, the Governor, State Agencies, Teachers' Unions, and Organizations not directly involving Adult Education.

9.  Increased awareness, research, and support for Adult Education on the national level.

10.  Increased press coverage - radio, print, online, TV, social media.

11.  The start up of a new cooperation between K12 Adult Schools, Community Colleges and other interested parties... through the new Regional Consortia system and conversations both formal and informal.

12.  Real discussion about Adult Education - its value, its mission, how it's funded, who it serves, where it's served.

13.  A rich pool of ideas about how Adult Education can be improved for the future.

14.  Ever increasing support for CCSF, the provider of Adult Education in San Francisco, and a canary in the coal mine of privatization. 

15.  A deeper understanding that Adult Education is part of  larger frameworks - the public education system of California, the economy of California, the culture of California, and the public education system, economy, and culture of the United States, too.  And that within these frameworks there are several struggles going on over where we are going as a people... our values, our priorities... the means by which we pay for what we want...  and the price we'll pay for that.

16.  Great strength and wisdom in the schools and programs which survived the cuts and closures of the past five years...  schools and programs which continue to serve the people of California.

17.  Stronger community... in the surviving K12 Adult Schools and Community College Adult Ed Programs...  amongst students and staff...  within and between programs... within and between regions... all across the state.

18.  Markedly higher level skill level... in activism, assessment, analysis, cooperation, planning, and publicity...  exactly the skills needed to take us where we need and want to go.


Because when we were faced with a challenge, we chose to respond.  We didn't know if we would fail or succeed.  We just knew our participation was needed - and that great reward awaited if we gave it.

Is there more work to do?


There's always more work to do.

There is a saying by Shunryu Suzuki... this is my memory of it... the exact phrasing may be different:

Everything is perfect just as it is and everything needs improvement.

How true!

And how much more powerful and effective are we when we begin the work to improve things with an appreciation of what we have right now.  It is a kind of truthfulness, really.  As simple as that.  We have good things.  Let us be honest about it.  The truth unlocks power.

As we move deeper into the Holiday Season, some much needed time off at Winter Break, and into planning for the new Budget Cycle (look for that in January), let us be honest about all that we have and let us be thankful for it. 

Honesty reveals our power.

Gratitude allows us to receive it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sometimes a good meal starts with a stone.

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