Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sad News About Oakland

Yesterday, February 27th, the Oakland School Board voted to close the few remaining classes in their Adult School program.

Full story:  "School Board Votes To End Adult Education."
 (From Oakland North, a project of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism)

Quote from above story:

“It was really depressing,” said Victoria Carpenter, a family literacy teacher at La Escuelita Elementary, after the vote. “I think the board heard us, but I have a feeling they don’t really understand. I don’t know how to explain it to them any more. I feel like they don’t understand the importance of these classes.”

But we know how important they are - which makes it all the more important for us to speak up -

not just for our own schools and communities...

but for the people of California.

People all across this state, in both urban and rural areas, red and blue, rich and poor, old and young, who need good, stable Adult Education programs.

Adult Education matters -

because we do.

It's time to get ready to work, friends... roll up your sleeves...

Information about Adult Education Week and opportunities to speak up - coming soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

T-shirt Power

San Mateo Adult School teachers at the CCAE Bay Section Conference

Looks good, hunh?

Makes a statement, right?

Makes people say, "Hey!  What's your t-shirt say?  What's this Adult Education Matters stuff?
Makes people see you as a group - teachers, students, friends, community.

Makes it easy for the press to spot you at an event such as a press conference or march, or out in the community.

Makes you want one, yeah?

Yeah - there is a lot of power in a t-shirt.  Especially, an Adult Education Matters t-shirt.


Here's how you can get one or some:

1.  If you want one just like ours, you can contact me at cyn.eagleton at and I will hook you up

or maybe

2.  You want to order your own slew for your school - pick your own color or use, red, too - pick your own logo or use the same one (free clipart) we chose.  (It's a hand holding a pencil,  by the way)

And... you may be wondering...  what's it say on the back?

Well, on the back of ours, it has the name of our school - San Mateo Adult School - and our union info - AFT - local 4681.

If you are ordering your own, you could put the name of your school, include union or not, perhaps the name of your district or community.

But where did you order them from, you're asking.

I'll tell you.

We got them from Alliance Graphics -

They are a great source - a union shop, no sweatshops, quality stuff.

All at the the cost of 13 bucks each, in male or female cut (which, I can tell you, I appreciate), and all sizes. 
And just think... if all of us who working to save and rebuild Adult Education get and wear these t-shirts... 

think what a statement it will make... 

how easy it will be for your community, the press, and the State Legislature to see

that all across this state Adult Education Matters...

people need it... people want it... 

people are working... to save, rebuild, and provide it...

because people matter.

Supporting the Chicago Teachers
Patricia and David show us the power of a t-shirt

Students buying t-shirts

Shirley knows the power of a positive attitude, education -
and a good t-shirt!

Patricia, Elizabeth, Katherine, & Cynthia - United for Adult Ed

Monday, February 25, 2013

Petition to Save Oakland Adult Ed Program

Oakland Unified School District is talking about flexing the rest of its adult school money and closing its few remaining adult school classes. 
Oakland, even more than many communities, needs Adult Education.

In 2009, Oakland Adult School taught English and basic literacy skills to 25,000 people.

Those 25,000 people didn't go away. 

But most of the classes did. 

And now all of them might.
You can sign a petition in support of Oakland’s Adult School.
But you need to sign it now.

We don't have much time:  Oakland adult school teachers and their supporters need the signatures to take to a school board meeting on Wednesday, February 27

Here is the link to the petition:

And here is a clip of Ana Turetsky, at last summer's press conference, talking about what has happened at Oakland Adult School:

And a video Oakland made last year, as it struggled to survive cuts and continue serving the community.


Perspective: Bruce Neuberger

Bruce Neuberger is a long-time ESL teacher at both our school, San Mateo Adult School, and at CCSF (City College of San Francisco).

Bruce is one of the few teachers who has the unique perspective of working within both systems.

Note:  In most of California, Adult Education is delivered through high school districts.  This is the case at SMAS.  But in some areas - such as San Francisco - it is delivered through the community college district.

Also:  Gov. Brown would like to have all adult education delivered through only the community college systems.   In general, the Adult Education community, and many people in the community college system, and the Legislative Analyst Office, do not think this is a good idea.

Bruce spoke at the CCAE Bay Section Conference this past Saturday, Feb 23rd.

(Bruce is seated at the center of the table.
Dr. Bob Harper is at the podium.)

Here are his remarks:

This has been quite a year.  Last spring we were embroiled in a struggle that was greatly heightened by the realization of just how many hundreds of thousands of people were lost to adult schools across the state – victims of so-called flexibility.  And then, faced with the devastating prospect of the Weighted Student Formula we worked to defeat that. At San Mateo adult school we held a press conference in June to denounce it and try to reach a broader public ear.  And no sooner had that threat diminished some, than the other school where I teach, Community College of San Francisco was put on Show Cause status, by the ACCJC, the educational equivalent of a mafia hit squad – a private accreditation agency partially funded by the Lumina Foundation, and overseen by people connected to the for-profit education industry.  (The ACCJC is authorized to operate by the U.S. dept. of education and overseen by a National Advisory Committee -- NACIQI National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity --  whose vice chair, Arthur Rothkopf was senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2010 and board member of the Educational Testing Service, Inc.  The NACIQI panel includes the president of the University of Phoenix, the largest for profit college in the U.S. ) 

In both these situations it’s been very gratifying and uplifting to see the way people have come forward together, the teachers, staff and administrators at San Mateo, supported by the eloquent and really moving testimony of many students speaking to the importance of adult schools, how it changed and enriched their lives. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Alliance for California Adult Schools

Do you use Facebook?

Check out the new FB page:  Alliance for California Adult Schools.

It's a great place to find out what is happening with Adult Schools all across California.

Thanks to this FB page - and our listserve - we can communicate with each other.

And that's the first step to working together.

Which is what is going to help us save and rebuild Adult Education.

Be sure to "like" the Alliance page, so that you receive the posts from its newsfeed.

Together, we can and are saving and rebuilding Adult Education.

Because we know...

Adult Education Matters!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sequestration and Adult Education

From the National Coalition on Literacy


Alert: Action on Sequestration for Adult Education


On March 1st, Congress is set to allow dangerous and indiscriminate cuts to occur that would drastically reduce funding for adult education services provided through Title II of the Workforce Investment Act. These across-the-board cuts, known as “sequestration,” put the health, education, and safety of all Americans at risk.
According to the National Education Association, allowing sequestration to occur would result in 127,900 adult education students being cut from existing services and would result in 450 job losses for adult educators and practitioners.
What Can You Do? 
Tell your member of Congress: Take a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction and Preserve Funding for Adult Education.
Deadline: February 28

You can use this website to help you contact your congress people:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This Blog is Amazing

This blog - Save Your Adult School - is amazing.

Read it.

CCAE Bay Section Winter Conference

This Saturday, February 23rd, CCAE will hold its Bay Section Winter Conference in Berkeley.

Here's the lowdown about it:

Join adult education professionals from all over the Bay Area at the Bay Section Winter Conference & Excellence Awards on Saturday, February 23, 2013. This annual event will be hosted by the Bay Section at Berkeley Adult School from 9:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

We are fortunate to experiment this year with co-locating at Berkeley Adult School on Saturday, February 23, 2013 with OTAN’s annual Technology and Distance Learning Symposium.  With adult education legislation being authored by Senator Liu, and the Weighted Student Funding formula nipping at our heels, our organized advocacy this spring will be more important than ever before and that will be one theme of the conference.  And of course we’ll have a variety of workshops for teachers focusing on transition program/instructional themes.

The Governor’s Budget proposal to shift adult education to the California Community Colleges probably got your attention.  What does this mean for California Adult Schools?  How do we organize to respond?  Ultimately decisions will be made in the state legislature.  What legislation is proposed?  How do we advocate for our programs and students?   The CCAE Bay Section Winter Conference & Excellence Awards will present information, question-answer sessions, and more importantly, a call to action, as we organize to make our voices heard in Sacramento. 

AND in addition!! This year we are co-locating with the annual OTAN Technology and Distance Learning Symposium, where there will lots of high interest workshops on the use of technology. 

Conference Workshops
  • Bridging the Gap: Developing Transition Programs for English Language Learners
  • Student Leadership and Advocacy Roundtable
  • Revamping ABE as the Hub of Transition to College and Career
  • Practical Paths to Goals for School and Work: Language and Practices for Students' Next Steps
  • Adult Education Publications for Education and Outreach
  • Organizing at the Local Level; Advocating for Adult Schools
  • Starting from Scratch: an ESL Career and Transition Center in 3 Hours a Week
  • Credit Recovery through Hybrid Distance Learning
  • Becoming College and Career Ready: Best Practices and Additional Resources for Our Adult Learners
Extra Bonus!  We are co-located with the OTAN Technology and Distance Learning Symposium: ePortfolios, Mobile Devices in Adult Education, Open Source for Online Education and 12 (!) more workshops on technology and adult education.

I will be at the Roundtable - so if you have ideas to share about student leadership and advocacy - please let me know by posting a comment here or emailing me at cyn.eagleton at gmail.

In so many ways, we finally have a seat at the table.

Now we just need to show up and speak up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ACSA Opposes The Governor's Proposal

Opposes The Governor's Proposal

ACSA opposes the governor's proposal to shift responsibility for delivering adult education services from K-12 and community colleges to only community colleges. ACSA recognizes that historically there has been an ongoing lack of a definition of educational responsibilities between the two education systems at the state level.
However, over the years both segments have collaborated to serve adult learners in successful means throughout the state at the local level. This includes the establishment of the Delineation of Function between K-12 school districts and community colleges. While this mandate has been eliminated, a number of school districts and community colleges continue to enter into these agreements and the statute is still in the Education Code even if unfunded and not enforced. Therefore it is false to state that there is no coordination between the two systems.