Friday, May 31, 2013

Winding Up The Mountain

We're getting closer. 

We're winding up that mountain toward the mountaintop, getting closer, one step at a time.

Deciding, as a people, how we will care for ourselves, as a people.

That being something that involves money, as well as time, these decisions are part of the budget process.

Here's a quick review of that:

Hit the "read more" link to see it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Older Adults Matter: George's Plan

Gov. Brown's May Revise recognizes the value of Adult Education - but not the value of Adult Education for Older Adults or Parents.  They are specifically excluded from the new funds for Adult Education.

Following that plan would be a mistake.

So George Porter, who teaches Older Adults classes for Berkeley Adult School and serves on the City of Berkeley's Aging Commission, has a different plan.

Hit the "read more" link to see it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Momentum for Good: Be Part of It

Our job: Keep telling our Legislators what we need. Their job: Keep listening and creating policy that will meet our needs. Right now we're both working hard at our jobs and that's creating momentum for good. 

Below is a new budget plan from the Assembly Budget Subcommittee.  Discussions and voting still have to happen.  And whatever the Legislature finally agrees on, Brown can veto specific items.

But the fact the Assembly Budget Subcommittee has come up with this plan is huge and good.

A year ago, we were pushing against a momentum to destroy Adult Education.

Now we are part of a momentum to rebuild it.  Big difference.

Here's the news with my comments in italics and suggested action steps at end.

Hit the "Read More" link to get the news and find out what you can do to keep the momentum going - and growing!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Edsource: Legislators Debate Proposal as Oakland Reinstates Proposal

Edsource is an excellent source of news about education and one of the few news sources to cover Adult Ed adequately.

Here's a good article with the latest news:

Hit the "read more" link to read it.

Good news for Oakland!

Wednesday night, May 22nd, the OUSD School Board voted unanimously to keep their remaining few Adult Education programs going for one more year.

This is huge and good news.  (More details below.)

Hit the "read more" link to see the good news.

Just the Facts, Ma'am: The LAO Report on the Revise

The LAO - the Legislative Analyst Office - is this really cool fact gathering and analyzing group that is non-partisan.  That means their job is to find out the facts about something and not care if it makes Democrats or Republicans or Independents or you or me happy.

They are the Joe Friday of California.

And here is their report on the Gov. Brown's May Revise.

Hit the "read more" link to see it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

La Escuelita - The Little Engine That Could

Oakland Adult School once served over 20,000 people.

They created their own wonderful CBET material - Sharing English - a terrific DVD series to help families learn how to help their children succeed in school, use the public library, participate in community life, and build good health physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Now Oakland Adult School is but a few classes.

La Escuelita Family Literacy is one of them.

La Escuelita Family Literacy in REd for Unity Adult Education

And they are the little engine that could.

Hit the "read more" link to learn why.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Match Made In Heaven?

You came to this blog.

Now go to this one.

Adult Education matters.

We need to make sure everyone understands that.

Because it really truly does.

image credit:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Use Your Tools


Name the most important tool humans have!

Did you say this?

If you did, you are CO-rrect!

Opposable thumbs!  Yes!

It's also called getting your hand up, asking what you don't know, sharing what you do.

Speaking up.

It's time.

We're in process.

The Governor has come out with the May Revise and it has some good parts, some very, very good parts, some not so good parts, and some bad ones.


we're in process.

San Mateo Assistant Director Tim Doyle breaks it down for us:

“The governor’s proposals have been introduced to both houses as trailer bills to a budget omnibus bill.  They will go to the subcommittees which make recommendations, changes, etc and send it to the full house.  Each house will vote on their version of the entire budget bill.  It passes with a simple majority vote.  A committee of senators and assemblypersons will reconcile the differences between the bills and send that to the governor for his yea or nay.  The governor does have line item veto power so he can line out items he doesn’t agree with.”

And ACSA (Association of California School Administrators) says:

The next 30 days leading to the adoption of the state budget by June 15th will be a fast paced process with many different rumors and proposals arising before the final adoption takes place.  Every education stakeholder will advocate for their point of view and attempt to sway the Legislature.  It is more likely that the governor will push to pursue something within the budget process because that is where his leverage lies.  However, the Legislature will continue to pursue the policy process in an effort to give stakeholders a public forum to voice concerns or support.  

That means nothing is set yet for sure.

Except...  we have this window of time... this public forum... in which we can speak.

If you like something... if you don't like something...

you need to get your hand up!!!

You can email, you can snail mail, you can phone call.

And you haven't used it, you can use this:

The Rebuild Adult Education petition.

When you sign it...

when you leave a comment!!!

it flies to every single Legislator and the Governor instantly!


Magic hold your hand up get chosen every time!

So if you haven't yet signed the petition - or left a comment! - use this tool!

And if you have, lend that tool to someone who needs it

Just like you'd lend them one of these:

You can even sing this song while you're using your tools or lending them:

Singing songs while you work not only makes life more fun...

it's sometimes lifesaving.

I know...  is this process EVER gonna end?

Haven't we been doing this forever already?

Kinda, sorta not, my friends.

It's only been four and a half years since Hurricane Housing Crash.

Adult Ed was doing fine till then.   It was doing great.

People worked for generations to get the freedoms we have now.

We can work a little longer.

Singing will help.

So okay then...

what do you like?

what do you dislike?

about the May Revise?

What do you want the Legislature to know?

We are the people.

The Governor and the Legislature work for us.

And they can't do their jobs if we don't speak and tell them what we need them to do.

Use your tools!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Good and Plenty to Celebrate

San Mateo Adult School wearing REd for Adult Ed
and celebrating the good news in the May Revise
(Photo Credit:  Tom Jung)

Check out that great photo of San Mateo Adult School, decked out in REd for Adult Ed, celebrating the GOOD in Gov. Brown's May Revise!

What's the GOOD, you ask?  We'll get to that.

First, remember this?  "Good and Complicated Budget Update"

That was the blog post about Gov. Brown's first go at the budget.  Way back in January.

Can you believe all we've done since then?

That's the FIRST THING to celebrate. 

The way we've mobilized.  Petitions, t-shirts, letters, emails, trips to Sacramento, essays, bumper stickers, rings around school districts, postcards.  We not only found our voice, we used it to deliver a clear message to Sacramento:  Adult Education matters!  We need designated funding!  Keep the K12 Adult Schools!

The Governor heard.  And responded.  REMEMBER THAT.  Hold that truth in your mind and your heart.  You have power.  We have power.  Does it take effort and time and energy to use it?  Of course!  Should it be used to create and maintain good?  Yes!  Because the wild thing is:  We always have power.  It's just a matter of what we do with it.  Do we stuff it, deny it, bury it, give it away?  Or we do focus it, share it, use it for good?   Remember that, too:  YOU ALWAYS HAVE POWER.  What are you doing with yours?

But wait!  There's more!

Look at how we've come together.  The fact we now have A4CAS helping to forge connections around the state between Adult Schools.  The increased communication between K12 Adult Schools and Community College Non-Credit Programs.  The way schools are sharing resources, strategies, and strength to keep Adult Education alive across the state.  Powerful, hunh?

We always did it in our classrooms.  We did it in our schools and communities when Hurricane Housing Crash hit and the roof started falling in.  Now we've learned to do it across the state.  We're powerful - and we're more powerful together.

Keep all that in mind as we review the May Revise which you can find here:

Summary of the May Revise (click on "Higher Education" - the section on Adult Ed begins on p 24)

The A4CAS blog post with the Adult Education portion of the May Revise.

Here are the main points with my bits. 

(Full disclosure: I am not a policy person!  I'm doing all I can to grok this as I go along, learning as I go.)

  • Proposes to restructure and delay the Adult Education proposal included in the Governor's budget. This pause will reduce the level of uncertainty for existing K12 education providers, while providing additional time to program governance and program delivery changes.

  • Okay, so Adult Ed is not immediately being crammed inside the Community College system which was not ready for it, anyway, and where most Adult Schools did not want to go.

  • Maintains status quo for existing K12 and Community College programs for two years. Maintains the existing apportionment structure and funding remains in place for existing Community College programs.

  • This part is trickier...  what about the Adult Schools that were scheduled to close?  What's going to help them survive in those 2 years?   The strong ones will be okay.  All schools will have 2 years to get ready for...

  • School Districts retain their authority to independently continue their existing adult education programs. Over time, it is expected they will join a regional adult education consortium, described below, to gain access to additional dedicated adult education funding and to ensure coordination with other local adult education providers.

  • First... Yaaaaayyy!!  School districts retain their authority over their Adult School programs!   And they will have 2 years to get ready for a regional consortium... through which they will receive...

    get ready for it...


  • Transitions to a new Adult Education partnership program comprised of regional adult education providers, who jointly determine what programs to offer their communities and how best to allocate additional state resources for this purpose.

  • Sounds like Allies, right?  Sounds like Unity in REd for Adult Ed!  I am sure it will take some time to figure that out.  And wisdom, and smarts, and big-picture thinking, and remembering at all times that Adult Education exists to serve the community, the students, the people of California, now and into the future. 

  • Includes $30 million Prop 98 General Fund in 2013-14 for two-year planning and implementation grants and $500 million Prop 98 General Fund in 2014-15 to fund Adult Education schools jointly operated by regional consortia of community colleges and school districts.

  • We've got some time and money to figure things out.

  • The districts making up each consortium must maintain their current level of spending for Adult Education in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and into the future to receive the new funding. 

  • To get the big money, districts need to have an Adult School that is open.  What money will help Adult Schools to STAY open in the meantime?  Especially, as Chris Nelson points out, schools like Oakland that are hanging on by a thread?  That's a good - and important - question.  (Thinking caps - put them on!  Ideas, questions, suggestions - share them - with each other, Legislators, the Governor, CDE, CCAE, CFT, and Districts in Crisis. I think there needs to be a special website or FB page for "Districts in Crisis.")

  • Available funding will be prioritized to critical areas of instruction. As a result, only instruction in ESL, citizenship, HS diploma, GED, and workplace education will be eligible for funding through the new program. Instruction in parenting, home economics and instruction for older adults will not be eligible for funding. 

  • Uh oh...  Older Adults and Parenting are not part of this funding.

    Okay.  Hmmm...  Problem.   How to address?  Ask for amendments?  Develop a case for a new and separate funding stream specific to those programs?   Begin to collect evidence that such programs are needed, especially as the Boomers do the hustle into Retirement and Obamacare goes into effect? 
    Those are BIG and IMPORTANT questions for a separate blog post and for YOUR REFLECTION.

    Meantime, for your enjoyment, because we are trying to celebrate here...

    I'm pretty sure everyone in this video
     would appreciate being able to take an Older Adults class -
    if such classes are available.
    And something else... those Boomers?  Those folks are dang good at speaking up.
    You watch.  They'll be speaking up all right.  They always do.
    I don't care if they are eighteen or eighty.  Boomers are always about speaking up.
    Watch out.
    There is definitely more money and support for Adult Education.  Perhaps Parent Ed and Older Adults can survive as part of stronger programs, and/or in part funded through fees.  Or support from organizations like the Arthritis Foundation as Irma Becerra Nunez has done in Los Angeles. 

    Again...  these are important matters that deserve your consideration and a separate blog post.  Leave a comment if you'd like to write one.  Contributions welcome!

    Meanwhile, back again, to the bulk of the plan.

    Here's a good article from Edsource about it:

    "Governor Tries to Fix Adult Ed Plan, but Controversy Remains" - Edsource

    And here's Bob Harper's insightful comment on the article (shared with permission):

    "The incentives to have greater collaboration between the delivery systems – articulated pathways, common assessments, referral procedures, integrated basic skills training – and bringing in additional community partners (the Workforce Investment Boards, community based-organizations, private sector) is welcome. It is exactly what the CDE’s strategic plan for adult education recommended. It is what was proposed by the LAO’s report last December. It is in alignment to the targeted outcomes for 2014-2015 of the Workforce Investment Act and the National Reporting System. It is already pursued in many places in the state, including the Silicon Valley ALLIES Initiative in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. It is hugely significant that the Governor and the DOF have been responsive to all the advocacy and dialogue on the last four months. It is also true that unless dedicated funding assures that K-12 adult schools continue to deliver services the “consortia” planned for 2015-2016 will be greatly diminished in capacity and expertise. Having 30 million to prepare partnerships, like ALLIES, is a great step. Unless K-12 has standalone funding as LCFF moves forward it is likely that the “unintended destructive consequences” will continue unabated and increase in pace. I surely hope it really is unintended. I must also point out that the $634 million “before the recession” is incorrect. In 2008 there was almost $750 million that supported adult learners in adult schools, and another $200 million that supported non-credit adult education programs in community colleges. What was $950 million in 2008 (which was insufficient to the demand then) becomes $500 million in 2015, with the possibility that the expertise, focus, and outcomes of the K-12 systems have eroded away by then. The legislature and the Governor will continue to work on this; I am confident they will understand that having collaboration between the two systems, adequately resourced, will mean that the critical capacity will be in place to provide low skilled adults with literacy, job skills, and immigrant integration." - Bob Harper, in response to Edsource article.

    The Internet is ablaze with articles about the Revise, responses to the Revise, and ideas about how it can be improved.

    Here's a very, very short one:

    Sac Bee Capitol Alert - Gov. Brown announcing May Revise (with video)

    And some video of Gov. Brown presenting it:

    Let's move from Brown to what he was talking about at the start of his speech: 

    Californians who need and deserve our support.

    Here's La Escuelita Family Literacy Program of Oakland, fabulous lin their REd for Unity for Adult Ed:

    They are the little acorn that remains of Oakland Adult School's once mighty program, which served over 20,000 people, 20,000 which still live there, by the way, 20,000 in need of Adult Education.

    It's the little acorn we all need to support, as it makes every effort to survive so that Oakland - and California - can thrive.

    To support La Escuelita, and Oakland, and every other community across this great state, means continuing to use our skill and power, our wisdom and smarts to work together and deliver the message:

    Adult Education Matters.

    That's the good news. 

    That we can and are doing this.  That we have the skill and the power and the will to speak up.

    That Sacramento is at the table with us.  Listening.

    That change is happening.  Good change.

    Is there more to do?


    But that's okay.  That's life.  That's what we're here for.

    And that's good and plenty to celebrate, all by itself.

    But of course... there is more...  so can we hear that good news one more time?

    K12 Adult Schools - remain open!

    Designated Funding - is coming!  (We'd love it if it came sooner!)

    Adult Education matters and more and more people know it - including Gov. Brown!

    We hear you, Governor.  There's a budget surplus.  Don't eat it all now.  Use it wisely. 
    We agree. 
    And we remind you and the Legislature: 
    It's your job to make sure it's shared fairly.
    After all, we're the ones who paid for the candy.

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Second Chances

    Tomorrow - Tuesday May 14th  at 10 am - Gov. Brown will get a second chance at his budget proposal.

    We'll see how it goes.

    The first time he wanted all Adult Ed tucked inside the Community College system.

    With some money but nothing like the budget we had before the crash. 

    A lot of us said no.

    A lot of rose up and no.  No, we don't want that.

    We sent emails.  We held rallies.  We wore t-shirts and gathered signatures and wrote resolutions and stood up and said no to the no to the no.

    So now he gets a second chance and we'll see what he says.

    You can watch as he does.

    The press conference will be streamed live on the California Channel at and the revised budget will be posted online shortly after the news conference begins at
    It's been a long five years.
    Since flexibility hit following Hurricane Housing Crash, there's been chaos in Adult Education. 

    Chaos and cuts and closures.
    Yes we do.
    And no matter what happens tomorrow... whether Gov. Brown comes out with some sort of nearly-perfect plan that satisfies everybody (does that exist?!) or one that makes us most of sad, mad or in temporary loss of mojo, I'll tell you what I predict:
    We'll keep trying.
    Here's why:
    Not only does Adult Education matter.  Not only does this state face a crisis if we don't rebuild and renew it but those of us in Adult Education... we have this magic super secret power.
    It's not one you often see in movies.  It's not in the Avengers.  It's not in a movie starring Robert Downey Junior (although maybe it should be) or Arnold Schwartzenegger or Johnny Dep.  Come to think of it, there might be or should be a movie where Robert Downey Junior plays a hero with this power because here's what it is:
    It is the very magical, very actual super secret power of
                                                                         ta dah!
                                                                               second chances!
    That's right...
    That's our specialty.
    Feel like a failure?  Feel like you're never gonna get it right?  You never did graduate you made a mess it's too late now it's all over.  This is it.  You'll be lucky if you move from fry cook to drive through.
    Not with Adult Education.
    Lose custody of your kids?  Beat yourself up at night with regret?  Cry yourself to sleep wondering how you can get them back?  You messed up but now you got it together except for the kids the kids do you even have a chance?
    Adult Education Parent Education classes are part of the second chances some parents need.
    How about widowhood?  Every feel deeply lonely?  Ever spend decades living alongside that same wonderful, annoying companion who's been there in laughter and tears only now they're not.  And your best friend?  They had a stroke and can't talk anymore.  And your hip?  Not so good.  And your memory?  A little spotty.  It's all over, right?
    Unh-unh.  Not with Adult Education.  With Adult Education Older Adults classes you're moving, you're connecting, your finding you're still here and that's okay, sometimes it's even good.
    How about  wondering why you ever came to this country.  Why the heck did you even think that was a good idea?  You're already heart split in two with pain, missing your mom, your dad, your sister and now here you are in this place where no one can understand you and the best job you can get is "You need English."  Give it up, right?  Go back home to a place you left for a good reason so what does that mean?  It was all a mistake?  Your life's a mistake?  You're a mistake?
    No.  Unh-unh.  Not with Adult Education.
    No, it's step by step by verb by noun by learn how to write a resume shake a hand this is how we do it this is how you walk into look that person in the eye and say, "Thank you, I can't wait to get started.  I sure do say, yes, thank you for the job offer.  I accept."
    Story after story after story.
    This is our story.
    This is what we know about.
    Sure, you can sit on a three-legged chair - sort of.  If you're constantly leaning back and to the side and keeping your leg just so and for God sake, don't drop anything.
    But with Adult Education?
    You're got balance.  You've got stability.  You've got a second chance for when life inevitably throws you a curve, the icy patch, it was in your blind spot, you just didn't see it coming.
    One thing we can always predict is trouble.  Obstacles.  Challenges.  Change.  Not necessarily the kind you like.
    Giving our planet a second chance on Earth Day
    There are going to be things we fail at and there are going to be days when you feel like giving up and there is going to be news maybe not exactly how you like it.  Okay but not good enough.  You need more.
    Okay.  That might be the case tomorrow.  We don't know.
    What we do know is that come what may, we'll deal with it.  Wearing our REd for Unity in Adult Education or just wearing whatever we're wearing that day.
    Cuz second chances are our specialty.
    Second chances are what we do best.
    That's why California needs us.
    Cuz everyone and everything needs a second chance, sometimes.
    Including Governor Brown.
    I mean, heck, who else came back for a second term lo these many decades later, right?
    Coming back after Prop 13 going down on his first watch.  Trying to get it right, now. 
    Knowing education is a civil right - it is! - and trying to make it all good somehow.
    And that's all good.
    The mighty pie of a budget surplus we made ourselves.
    We're all here - at the table - because we care.  
    We care about California.
    We're working it out.
    We're finding a way to provide good public education, including Adult Education.
    You, me, the State Legislature and Governor Brown.
    Because we need it.
    We need what Adult Education does for our state... for our people...  for us.
    And luckily, we've got a second chance... to get it right.
    So get out your super fantastic actual magic super powers, everybody!
    The May Revise is coming down!
    We're a mighty tree, Adult Education, over 150 years strong, with mighty branches in both K12 and CC districts, bearing fine fruit to feed our people.
    Let's keep the tree strong.                                                                           

    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    Tuesday, May 14th: Unity in Red

    This week, Governor Brown will present the May Revise of his Budget Proposal.

    The future of Adult Education is at stake in what he proposes and in how the Legislature responds.

    Every Californian will be affected by what's decided.

    For over 150 years, Adult Education has been helping parents, the unemployed, seniors, young adults, & immigrants gain the skills they need to contribute to California at full power.

    California still needs that.  In fact, now more than ever.

    This Tuesday, May 14th, let's remind California -
    and ourselves - of who we are and what we do.

    Let's all wear some measure of red - t-shirts, scarves, socks - and provide information about how our programs serve the community.   Send out press releases, fact sheets, and photos.  Post pics on blogs, Facebook, and websites.  Remind everyone:  we are one community serving one purpose:  to support and empower California through education.

    All of us - the K12 Adult Schools, the Community College non-credit programs, the classes that are on-site and off, in senior centers and pre-schools, in run-down old buildings with leaky roofs and in brand spanking new ones, in programs that are hanging on by just a few teachers and in places where Adult Ed is still strong, in schools that are slated for closure and in schools that facing votes on closure. 

    Let's stand together this Tuesday, May 14th, in red. 

    Red for vitality.  Red for crisis.  Red for apples of A,B,C - learning empowers you and me.

    The Back Story

    Adult Education is old.  Over 150 years old.

    Like many old things, it is a little complicated.  Like a tree, over the years it grew branches which grew out in different directions, some of them small, some of them big.

    Here's the thing: 
    All those branches produce fruit.  
    The same fruit.

    And they all stem from the same root.

    Whether Adult Education is provided through K12 districts (Adult Schools) or through Community College districts (non-credit), it is still Adult Education.

    Whether it's ESL, GED, Job Training, Older Adults, Parent Education, High School Diploma, Family Literacy, Disabled Adults, Financial Literacy, or Citizenship, it's still Adult Education.

    In the chaos of the last 5 years, when a financial crisis forced deep cuts to all public education, that truth has been forgotten.

    Gov. Schwartzenegger imposed "flexibility."  K12 districts made hard choices in order to survive.  Choices which harmed the very children they served, because they were cutting the programs that empowered those children's parents, grandparents, and older siblings to better support them as learners and to succeed in their communities.  Survivor choices are never happy ones.  They are always ringed with grief.

    In the meantime, the Community Colleges, like every branch of public education, also faced cuts.  And CCSF in San Francisco, found itself fighting for its survival through an accreditation crisis. CCSF is the provider of Adult Education in San Francisco, a big city with big needs for Adult Ed.

    Now we find ourselves in a situation where money is again available but we are fighting over it.

    K12 Districts are fighting over Gov. Brown's proposed LCFF.  Who will it benefit?  Who will it hurt? Is it fair?  To whom?

    And the Adult Education community is fighting over how to survive.  We all want Designated Funding.  But some want to go with the Governor's plan and be entirely under the control of the Community College District.  And some want to continue as is, in the K-12 supported Adult Schools that have served their communities for many decades.  Some for over 100 years. 

    Some are okay with narrowing the mission of Adult Ed.  They feel it is okay to lose the Older Adults and Parent Ed and Family Literacy programs because perhaps this is the only way Adult Education can survive.

    Some are cite the necessity and wisdom of serving these communities we have served for so long.

    Prop 30 passed.  A budget surplus is welling  to the surface of California.

    There is no reason for us to fight over resources unless we want to give a third party a reason to get rid of both of us.

    Divide and conquer.  It's an old strategy.   Old because it works - just like Adult Education works.

    In some way, there really is nothing new in this world.

    Just the choices we make in the present moment, using our knowledge of the past, to decide what we want for our future.

    Which way do we want?

    The way of education, wisdom, unity?  Sitting down together to figure out strategies to serve all of California together?  Sharing our skills - assessment, creativity, organization - to make the best Adult Education system possible?

    Or the way of division, fear, and blame.  It's your fault.  Look at your shortcomings.  We can't trust you.  There's not enough for both of us.  I'm the only one who can do it right.  I'm the only who matters.


    Isn't this whole thing about the group?

    Isn't this whole struggle about how to best serve the group of human beings who live in California - old, young, native born, immigrant, employed, unemployed, parents, childless, literate, illiterate.  We all live here.  We all suffer the consequences when things go badly.

    True, there are always those who profit in times in discord.  But can we trust those who do?

    Isn't it better to trust each other?  To work together to serve the people of California?

    We don't have to work out all the details now.

    Group process is hard.

    Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I personally hate it and sometimes shrink from it.  Why do you think I'm a writer?  I can do that alone!  Conflict is hard!  It's hard to trust the process - and each other - enough to hang in there with it and work things out.

    But it's the only thing that's going to save us.

    Because we are a group.

    We, human beings, are a group species.  No matter how wonderful the technology we invent, technology that enables to live alone, communicate without being in the same room with others, even reproduce without benefit of human touch, we are still a group species.

    We need each other. 

    Let's use technology to connect.

    Let's use our understanding of what's happening to overcome our differences and work together to serve the greater whole.

    Gov. Brown is right.  Education is a civil rights issue.

    And no one knows that better than those of us in Adult Education.

    Let's stand together this Tuesday, May 14th.  One community.  One source of information, wisdom and strength about the necessity to empower our people through education.

    San Mateo Adult School at a rally for CCSF -
    City College of San Francisco
    LA is already rallying on that day. 

    San Mateo Adult School at CCAE Conf.
    San Mateo  - staff and students - will be wearing their Adult Education Matters t-shirts. 

    We can do this.

    Look at what we've already done!

        We are powerful.     
    Even more powerful, together.
    Let's show everyone who we are.
    Let's who show everyone where we are.
    Let's remind everyone what we do to benefit all California.
    Wear Red on Tuesday, May 14th
    Share what you do with the press, your community,
    state and local government, and social media.
    We are Adult Education.
    And we matter.
    Because we the people do.
    These people understood the danger of division, the power of unity, and the necessity of courage, action, and forgiveness.
    We have that same greatness in us.
    Let's reveal it.



    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Calling All Retired Teachers

    There's a group that has a special understanding of the value of education.

    Can you guess?

    You got it:  Teachers!

    And we have a whole lot of them in California - many of them retired.

    Here's one of them: 

    That's my mom.  35 years in the classroom - most of it in junior highs.  Yay, mom!

    And there are thousands and thousands more.  I know.  Because she's friends with many of them.  :-)

    Tney're out there - vital, active citizens, volunteering, helping their adult children and grandkids, traveling, learning, participating in family, community, and civic life, voting!

    We need their help!

    Not only do they understand the value of education -

    but being retired, they understand the value of classes for Older Adults -

    a program which is in grave danger of extinction.

    I'm asking that wherever you live -

    you connect with your local chapter of 

    CALRTA - the California Retired Teacher Association,

    tell them what is happening to Adult Education -

    and to classes for Older Adults -

    and ask for their help.

    Click the "read more" link for more info..

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    If You're Not At The Table...

    There's a saying in Sacramento...

    What's that mean for us?

    Especially the K12 Adult Schools?

    It means we need to be part of decision making in Sacramento.

    Especially now - the week before the "May Revise" -

    (that's Gov. Brown's revise of his budget proposal...

    you remember...

    the one where he wanted to put all Adult Ed
    inside the Community College system...

    Yeah... that one!  Important!)

    So how do we do we become part of the decision process?

    Click the "read more" to learn how...

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    East Side Union School District Shows Us How

    A huge thank you to East Side Adult School and the East Side Union School District for showing us how it can be done:

    Click the "read more" link to see their amazing work.

    Calling All Journalists

    Adult Education -

    how it's structured, who it serves, how it used to be, how it's now, how it might be -

    these are pretty complicated things, actually...

    and very, very important to understand.

    Because when you're in a mess, understanding how you got there is part of understanding how to get out.

    So what to do?

    Keep slogging away at the blog posts?


    But what about the skills and scope of journalists and large-scale bloggers?

    What about a good comprehensive series or an investigative piece on Adult Education -

    how things came to this pass, what's at stake, and how California can benefit if it creates a way out of this mess and into repair and renewal?

    How about calling on journalists to bring their skills, smarts, and light to the subject?

    The more requests they get, the better -

    because journalists respond to need and need is demonstrated by frequency, urgency, and intensity.

    Please join me in contacting one or some to ask that they look into Adult Education

    what's happening, why, and what's at stake.

    Click the "read more" for information about who and how to contact journalists...

    Sunday, May 5, 2013

    When Even A CATESOL Conference Includes Workshops About Advocacy...

    The CATESOL 2013 Northern Regional Conference was held today at the Loma Visa Adult Center, Mt. Diablo Adult School.

    CATESOL stands for California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

    What does that have to do with Adult Education?

    At a Conference that is more typically about pronunciation, reading, writing, and cultural context, there were three - count them three - workshops - plus a rap session - about the challenges facing Adult Education.

    Just as the student rallies and letters and petitions around the state show us there is a real student desire for access to Adult Education, this change in a professional conference tells us there is a real desire amongst teachers to renew Adult Education before it's too late.

    This desire is not a Madison Avenue manufactured glossy photo-op. 

    We're seeing real movement and real change because of a rise in need that cannot be faked.

    And make no mistake, where there is real desire, there is always real action.  And where there is real action, there is real result.

    More on that in a minute.  First, here are the workshops that pertained to Adult Ed:

    (hit the "read more" to learn about the workshops and some ideas of what this all means)