Friday, July 27, 2012

Check-in from Cynthia

A quick post to say that out Summer Break has started and I will be posting less on this blog while camping, reconnecting with friends and family, and enjoying the parts of life that are untouched by budget cuts. 

But!  What is happening in Adult Ed and all public ed - the cuts, the reframing, the privatization - this continues.

So... while I take a bit of a break, I hope that some of you will step in to contribute your ideas, facts, strategies, and perspectives.

Please send any of the above to and when I do check in (as I will from time to time), I'll post the good stuff here.

This crisis in public and adult education affects millions and millions of people. 

We will only see it through to a rebirth of public education if we, as a group, choose to do that.

And our choices are revealed through our actions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why the Controversy

The San Francisco Bay Guardian in the article, "City College Fights Back" details the philosphical differences that underpin the controversy surrounding CCSF's possible disaccreditation.

How Much Trouble Is Trouble Worth?

From the New York Times, comes this recent article, "Enrollment Off in Big Districts, Forcing Layoffs," which details the connection between charter schools and trouble in public education.

Some might say that the increase in charter schools is a result of trouble in public education and they have their points.

But ultimately, the question we must ask ourselves is:

Do we or don't we want a healthy public education system?

And given the fact the all branches of our public education system - K-12, Adult Education, Community College, State College and University - are sickened,

Is it worth the trouble it will take to restore our system to health?

Trouble - that's the real issue here, isn't it?

There is trouble in our educational system.

And it will take cause us some trouble - some effort - to repair it.

It might not be "fun." 

It will be meaningful.  There will be reward in both the work and the result.

But some of the work will be difficult.

And we are a culture that has come to forget the joys to be found in work.

We seek our joy elsewhere.

In distraction.

But work there is to be done and the question is how and where we do it.

If we don't, our troubles will worsen and eventually, there won't be enough distraction to relieve us of the pain they will cause us.

So let's think of what we really want.

A sound public education system with the mission to serve everyone and create a thriving economy, a healthy community, and a high level of civic particpation?

Or an expanding for-profit education system that doesn't have a mission to serve everyone?

If you are interested in learning more about the privatization of education, you can attend the upcoming Labor Fest workshop:

Who is Behind Privatization of Public Education?

July 29, Sunday, 10:00 AM  -- Free
518 Valencia  - near 16th St, in San Francisco  

Education, Privatization, Bill Gates, Broad, KIPP, Pearson And The Gulen Schools
A massive national and international organized plan to privatize education has been implemented over several decades. Billionaires, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation and the Pearson corporation among others, have infiltrated hundreds of governmental bodies including school boards, city councils and our local, state and regional governments. They seek to turn our education system into a profit center worth tens of billions of dollars. This also includes the Gulen Islamic cult led by Imam Fethullah Gulen, which runs the largest chain of charters in the United States funded by public money.  We will also look at the criminal conflicts that have allowed politicians to personally benefit from using their public positions to profit from their votes and actions. This forum will look at how this has come about, who did it, how it is affecting us and who is profiting from it at the cost of public education and finally how to stop this attack on our public education system.


Madeline Mueller, Professor SF City College, AFT2121

Susan Miesenhouse, CFA CSU Longbeach

Kathleen Carroll, Lawyer and Whistleblower At Commission On Teacher Credentialing

Bruce Neuberger, AFT 4681 San Mateo Adult School

Sharon Higgins, Researcher and Blogger On Charters, Parents Across America

Sponsored By United Public Workers For Action

Monday, July 23, 2012

Distress Call from the Big Ship

Adult Education in California is attached either to K-12 districts or to Community College Districts.

It is attached to Community College Districts in San Francisco, San Diego, and Santa Ana.

Right now, there is all kinds of trouble in San Francisco.

CCSF - City College of San Francisco - like every public school in California, has been hit by budget cuts.

On top of that, it's got accreditation trouble.

It is also the largest college or university in California.

With a huge non-credit - that is to say, Adult Education program.

Read more details about this in New America Media's article "City College Closure Could End San Francisco’s Adult Education Program."

Including these details:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bumper Stickers!

Bumper stickers!

Get one!

Two bucks!

From the SMART Center!

Slap it on your car!

Spread the word!

Adult Education matters!

Want one with your school's logo on it?

Contact and tell them you want one just like ours but your own school's logo on it.

Honk for Adult Education!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life Is Fighting For Us

(The following is an opinion piece.)

Children are advised to fight! if someone attempts to kidnap them, to shout! and hit back! if someone means them harm.

Now it is time for us to fight! as the hits keep coming, hits such as the ones described in The San Mateo Daily Journal's op-ed piece, "Education Takes A Couple More Punches."

And what might that hitting back look like?

Does it have to be lashing back in anger?  Harsh?  Mean-spirited? 

Or it can it be something different?

Can it be a

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who Are We?

Quick, think "Adult Education."

What did you see?

Immigrants bent over books, learning English?

Yes, that's true.

That's part of Adult Education.

Adult Education is also seniors. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Step It Up

Susan Lopez, City College of San Francisco Instructor and Member of the CFT Adult Education Commision, puts forth this powerful suggestion for a shift in thinking and strategy:

Here's an argument for broadening the advocacy strategy of adult school advocates. I think the most important thing is that there be resources made available in the public sector for the students be served. That means more adult schools, more programs at those schools ---for example including older adults, more Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) and more community college noncredit. And the government is now cutting adult day care, which is a related function. Services to seniors, to immigrants, and to high school dropouts are all big parts of the picture.

Adult school teachers can certainly advocate only for reopening adult schools if they wish---that is in part a jobs matter. But I think the bigger picture is to serve the students, to meet the need. If K-12/CDE has little interest in adult education because they have their own money problems, that does not let the government off the hook for providing the services. There is far too little noncredit in community colleges and the limited amount that many colleges do is under pressure in some quarters for elimination. Realistically, at the present time, we will probably need continued dual system involvement in order to restore or even maintain services.

Therefore, I propose that we need to "step up adult education across the board."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Look into This

Articles and situations which need our reflection:

 1.  From Catesol’s Monthly News (July 2012):

 EdSource, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit group that focuses on education issues, has released a report on adult education, "At Risk: Adult Schools in California" (www). Its press release states that "adult schools are an important strand in the state's safety net, offering community based classes to some of the state's neediest adults."

2.  KQED's California Report discusses this report in a program entitled, "Adult Education Disappearing in California."

3.    Bill Moyers’ excellent show on unions which you can watch online or listen to on the radio.

Why is this one important to us?  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Your Voice Matters

For too long, Adult Education flew under the radar.

We had a system, right?

It was helping people, right?


So why bother to explain it?

Who cares if people didn't know that San Mateo Adult School and City College of San Francisco's Non-Credit program were the same thing?

Who cares if people didn't understand our complicated finances, tied to two different systems - K-12 and Community College?

Who cares if people didn't understand that both programs - Adult Ed tied to K-12 and Adult Ed tied to Community College - were the same system, serving the same people and needs?

Who cares if people didn't understand that so many programs - ESL, Citizenship, Job Training, Parent Ed, Older Adults, Disabled Adults - were all part of the same system?