Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 2014: What's Next?

Upcoming events and things to think about in the Amazing Adventure of Stabilizing Adult Education and K12 Adult Schools: 

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 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?

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