Monday, October 28, 2013

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Townhalls Are Here!

It's Townhall week! 

What's that mean?

It means this is our chance to learn more about and have some input into how the new Regional Consortia system for Adult Education shapes out.

The full schedule is here.

Monday Oct 28 Southern California Meeting - Hacienda La Puente

Tuesday October 29 Central Valley Meeting - Clovis

Wednesday October 30 Bay Area Meeting - Oakland

Thursday October 31 (yes... Halloween!) - Northern California - Butte

If you go here on the AB86 website, you can download agendas.

Essentially, the meetings will consist of an introduction, an overview of AB86, and question-answer time.  If I understand the agenda correctly, you can submit your responses to the following questions:

1.  How do you envision the makeup of your consortium in this area?  

2.  What are some of the specific challenges with collaborating for the development of a regional consortium?   

3.  This is a non-competitive grant process.  What are your suggestions on how these planning funds could be distributed?  

4.  AB86 provides an opportunity to re-envision, rethink, and reshape the service delivery model for adult education. How do you believe adult learners can be better served as a result of the development of local consortia?

This last question seems to me to be the key.

We are re-imagining Adult Education.

Everything begins with ideas.

What do we want?

If you can't go to a Townhall, you can submit your responses to

If you can't go to a Townhall or don't have time to ponder these questions this week, ponder them next week.

Everything doesn't begin and end with the Townhalls.  This is a process.

There is plenty of time and plenty of opportunities to be involved.

The experience, ideas, and wisdom of everyone -

community, students - past, present, and future, teachers, support staff, and administration -

are needed if we are to create a system which can support our state into a healthy future.

At San Mateo Adult School, where I work, students are creating their own survey to find out what students want and need in an Adult School.

Paper and pencil are good for this sort of thing.  So are free online survey sites like Survey Monkey.

So are conversations, time spent pondering while driving, on the bus on in the bathtub, and sleeping on it.

What matters most is that we think about it.  And contribute our musings to the process.

We're creating a new system for Adult Education that will shape the future and last for decades.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Perspective: ESL Student Elsa Teixeira

Elsa Teixeira is a student in the ESL Writing Intensive Class, taught by Mary Peros.

The Writing Intensive is a special class designed to prepare students for Community College classes, TOEFL exams, and workforce readiness.

Elsa shares her perspective on Adult Education - its value not just to Adult Ed students but to the entire state of California.  Thank you, Elsa, for expressing this so well in your essay and in your success as a student at San Mateo Adult School.

Adult Education Matters

The United States is a country made of immigrants.  California itself is such a special place for the mix of cultures and tolerance.  Adult school welcomes us, people from all over the world, in a wonderful and caring environment.  it is different than any other school and that should be more advertised.  It helps us integrate and be more confident people, it helps us to better educate our children, all of this at our own pace.  Adult Schools have a specific role in American society and for that they deserve to have their own funding.

Some people came to the United States searching for a better life, others for job opportunities or even others just following their sons or daughters.  It doesn't matter what age or nationality.  People of all ages, all cultures find a place here to express themselves without being afraid of judgement for the mistakes they make or even for the different ideas they might have.  That makes us more confident and productive people.  There is no other school like Adult School, that can provide people a learning environment with a demanding program, but at the same time a level of understanding about people's different lives and schedules.  It's a place where people are happy to learn, happy to come to school and not afraid of being judged for being absent.  We know we can always come back.

Adult education is an investment in people's future, but also in the state of California's future.  It is a fact that better educated parents can provide better education to their children.  Educated adults can find better jobs and help their children every day with homework and other school assignments so they have better chances of being successful students.  I am sure that politically speaking, providing more funds to K-12 public schools is a much more popular political measure, but have you ever considered that more educated parents can help their children and actually save K-12 school's funds?

It is really important that not only Governor Brown but all American learn what Adult Education is and what role these schools represent in American society.  It is a really unique environment and for many the only chance of learning.  Such a special place must be preserved and supported.  We all need to do our share.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Perspective: GED Student Jessica Franco

Jessica Franco is pursuing her GED at the San Mateo Adult School.  She share why here:

Why I Want My Ged

Have you ever heard people say, "It's never too late to go back to school" and thought, "Yeah, right?"  You think that by the time you finish school, you'll be too old, or maybe you think it would just be a waste of time.  That's exactly what my thuoghts were.  I thought about getting my GED for years but didn't think I could incorporate it into my busy schedule.  I was completely wrong.

After years of just thinking about getting my GED, I finally decided to just go for it.  One morning I woke up and without giving it a second thought, I drove to theSan Mateo SMART Center.  I walked in and right away was greeted by a nice lady who pointed me in the right direction.  At the GED registration desk was Carlotta who welcomed me and handed me the registration forms.  "Welcome, " she said, "You've made a great decision."

There I was, thirty two years old and feeling nervous, kind of like when you get called down to the principal's office. As I was filling out the forms, I looked all around and noticed people of all ages coming in, ready to study.  Despite my nerves, I knew I was making the right decision.  I had finally taken the first step towards a better future.  Finishing school has been one of my goals and I was on my way to achieve it.

My family's support has played a huge role in making my decision.  I have a twelve year old son and a seven year old daughter and being able to help them with their homework is very rewarding for me.  What will happen when I am no longer able to understand their assignments?  Will they be disappointed in me?  They might feel embarassed that I didn't graduate.

I know my children will love me no matter what.  Not only do I want to teach them that education is the key to success, but also that you can achieve your goals.  All you need is dedication and determination.  Going back to school has been one of the best decisions of my life.  I strongly encourage anyone who has ever thought about furthering their education to just go for it like I did.

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your inspiring story and inspiring others to take a risk and reach for a better future, as you have.  You are a wonderful of why Adult Education matters and why positive change always begins with courage.  And like so many Adult Education students, your decision and dedication are rooted in family.  Your kids are lucky to have you as their mom and we're all lucky to have you on campus!

Artist:  Amanda Cass

Monday, October 21, 2013

Townhall in Oakland: The Full Scoop

Listen up, everyone!   CCAE shares the full scoop on the upcoming Townhall in Oakland. 
Check it out!
From Chris Nelson, Past President of CCAE and Current Coordinator for Oakland Regional Consortium for Adult Education:
Oakland Selected as a Site for Townhall Meeting on the
Regional Consortium for Adult Education Process October 30, 2013 from 1-3pm

On October 30th, Oakland has been chosen as one of the cities to host a joint Community College/California Department of Education Townhall meeting on the Regional Consortium for Adult Education process in California. It will be held at McClymonds High School Auditorium 1-3pm. You can go to to register or to obtain further information about the Townhalls.

Click the "read more" link for more info.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Regional Consortia Townhalls - Sign Up Now!


There are four...

yes,  just FOUR!  Townhall Meetings

for the whole state of California!

which anyone, yes, YOU, TOO, can attend and

learn about

talk about

and share your opinion about

the new Regional Consortia system for Adult Education.

So register now!

Hit the "read more" link to learn how.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why the Red T-shirts?

Red for Adult Ed - T-shirt Tuesdays.

What's that about?

Click here to learn more.

And until we get Designated Funding for K12 Adult Schools,

be sure to wear  Red for Adult Ed on Tuesdays!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Victory Reconsidered

Last week I sent out the following update to everyone who signed the Rebuild Adult Ed Petition:

Remember this?  Victory declared?

Well, I’m a little worried about that now.

Hit the "read more" link to find out why.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Adult Ed and the Fed Shutdown: Impact?

What does the Federal Shutdown mean for Adult Education?

Good question!  And not one that I can answer.

The following information from Edsource and ASCD might help us both figure it out.

As you read through it, remember:  The CDE is involved in planning for the new Regional Consortia and the CDE is funded in large part by the Federal government.  It is, however, "forward-funded."  That means it's paid in advance.

Hit the "read more" link to read the articles.