Thursday, January 30, 2014

Look Three Ways: Jan 29 Hearing on Adult Ed

This is a long post which should be longer.  I want to get it out while it's still in our minds and hearts.  Therefore, I am not trying to cover every aspect of the hearing.  You can watch the whole thing here.  It is not that long - under 3 hours - and you can fast forward through the parts not of interest to you.

This post also contains comments.  I do my best to report information here.  I also do my best to think about things as I go along, asking questions and learning as I go.  I see what I'm doing here as being partly about sharing those questions and observations.  They aren't all there is to know about Adult Education.  They are my best effort to learn, be open, and maintain a commitment to principles.  And they are a work in progress - just like Adult Education in California.

When you're pulling into traffic, there's a general rule for safety:

Look in the direction you want to go, look in the opposite direction, then back to where you're going before pulling out into the flow.

This seems a good rule for us to remember as we move into the flow of change where not just Adult Education is concerned, but public education, as a whole.

The January 29th Oversight Hearing on Adult Education - Joint Senate Committee on Education and Assembly Committee on Higher Education - was a good opportunity to do just that. 

It was called into being by the need for more information for legislators so they can make better informed decisions about Adult Education, including the fate of SB 173, the question of extending the MOE clause, and determining a budget for the new Regional Consortia system when it starts up in 2015.

For those who, like me, are learning as they go, an oversight hearing is just informational - no one votes on anything.

You can view a video of the hearing here.

I attended the hearing, along with 3 ESL Student Leaders from the school where I teach (San Mateo Adult School), and my co-worker, Lisa Dolehide.

So did Kristen Pursley who writes the Save Your Adult School blog.  She wrote a very substantive post about the hearing.  You can read it here.

The three students spoke during the public comment section.  I highly recommend you read what Hitomi, Marco, and Marina said.  We need to hear from more students as make decisions about the future of Adult Education.  If you are a student or know a student who would like to share your perspective on Adult Education, please send me an email at cyn period eagleton and then "at" g and then mail and then period and then com (yes I'm paranoid I'm one of the people who got slammed in the Target thing). I would love to post more student wisdom and perspective on the value of adult education and how best we can renew and rebuild it for the future.

Click here to see the official Agenda and Background Information for the hearing.

And here is my own summary of the hearing, along with a few comments and observations which I'll do my best to put in italics.

As you read through it, you might want to keep the Look Three Ways Rule in mind - look where we want go, look where we've come from, then look again to where we want to go.

Hit the "read more" link to dive in.

Democracy Matters

Click here to read about San Mateo Adult School students and staff attendance at the Oversight Hearing on Adult Education January 29th, 2014.

Click here to watch the hearing.

Click here to read what ESL Morning ESL Student Council President Marco said at the hearing.

Click here to read what former ESL Morning Student Council President Hitomi said at the hearing.

Click here to read what ESL Student Advocate Marina said at the hearing.

San Mateo Adult School ESL Students
Marina, Hitomi, and Marco speaking at the hearing.

The full AEM report is here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Agenda and Background Info for AE Hearing on Wed Jan 29th

The agenda and the background information for the Oversight Hearing - Joint Senate Education and Assembly Higher Education Committees - are now available.

I recommend looking over the background information as well as scanning the agenda.

The Committee Members will be using this information to better understand Adult Education and make decisions about its future.

Click here to read the AEM post about the hearing.

Here are the agenda and background info:

Hit the "read more" link to jump in.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jan 29th Hearing on Adult Ed: Your Chance to Speak

Wednesday, January 29th, at 9 am, there will be an "oversight hearing" on Adult Education for two committees of the California State Legislature.

This is a joint hearing of the Assembly Higher Education and the Senate Education Committees.

At the hearing for SB 173 in August 2013, Assembly Higher Education Committee members expressed a need for more information about Adult Education before making a decision about 173.

This "oversight hearing" is a response to the need for a better understanding of Adult Education - past, present, and possible future - before making any decisions about SB 173 or anything else that pertains to Adult Ed.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

Regarding Congress: We Have Work To Do

Thanks to Support Adult Basic Education in Arizona for this update:

A joint committee of the Congress, House of Representatives and Senate, came together to recommend Omnibus Appropriations that include Adult Ba...sic and Literacy Education State Grants, as well as all 12 regular appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014. The process allowed every program to be weighed individually and prioritized, with funding targeted to the most important and effective programs while lower-priority programs were reduced.

How did adult education fare? If approved by the House, Senate and signed by the President, adult education would be level funded at the FY 13 sequestration level - that is the same as the current, revised level for 041 and EL/Civics. In FY 12, the federal appropriation was $594,993,000; in FY 13, the appropriation was $563,955,000; and the FY 13 amount is what is being recommended. It is important to note that the committee could have chosen to increase our funding, as they did with HeadStart, or reduce our funding even more. Their decision to provide level funding means that WE HAVE NOT convinced our federal legislators that what we do is critical to economic development or K-12 education.
We continue to have work to do!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Federal Visit to San Mateo Adult School

On Tuesday, January 7th, Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, US Dept of Education Asst. Secretary, and Cheryl Keenan, US Dept of Education Director of Education, visited San Mateo Adult School.

SMAS Director Larry Teshara, Dr. Dann-Messier, Teacher Daphne Lagios
Photo Credit: Tom Jung

Dr. Dann-Messier met with students in a roundtable discussion.

Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier
Photo Credit:  Tom Jung

Read ESL Student Advocate Marina's terrific write-up of that discussion here.

Read my ESL Student Blog post about the conversation between Ms. Keenan and Asst. Director Tim Doyle and SMAS teachers here.

SMAS Director Larry Teshara, Dr. Dann-Messier, Cheryl Keenan,
Asst. Directors Susan Williams and Tim Doyle
Photo Credit:  Tom Jung

More info coming.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gov. Brown's Proposed 2014-15 Budget - The Regeneration of Adult Education?

You can read it here.  (Thanks, LA Times!)

The Adult Education section is on page 33.

I've copied it out here:

The 2013 Budget Act provided 25 million dollars Prop 98 General Fund for  two-year planning and implementation grants for regional consortia of community college districts and K-12 districts, $15.1 million Prop 98 General Fund Reversion for the Adults in Correctional Facilities, and required K-12 Districts to maintain the 2012-13 level of adult education and career technical education programs in 2013-14 and 2015-16.

Adult education consortia plans will be completed by early 2015, and the Administration intends to make an investment in the 2015-17 budget for adult education, including adult education in county jails, through a single restricted categorical program.  The Administration will continue to work jointly with the State Department of Education and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office  to complete the adult education consortia plans, while working with the Legislature to ensure that any legislation pertaining to adult education aligns with and supports the planning process currently underway and provides consistent guidelines to the K-12 and community college districts.
(Highlights mine.  But that "single restricted categorical program" is a big deal and I want to know more about how that would play out - the good, the bad, the new, etc.)
This is a proposed budget.  The public has to review and weigh in on it.  Same with the Legislature.  There is the whole tweaking, revising, voting, approving, not approving, arguing, vetoing, not vetoing yet to come.
In the meantime, what do you think?  Are we seeing the regeneration for Adult Education?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

CFT California Teacher Magazine Article on Adult Ed - and Why We Need More Press Coverage

The November/December 2013 issue of the California Federation of Teacher's magazine, "California Teacher," contains the article, "New Regional Consortia Meld Programs." (Page 4)

Full disclosure:  I wrote the article.  I am also a member of CFT.

My thoughts:  I'm glad I could write it.  I'm glad CFT ran it.  I'm glad for the coverage of Adult Ed.

There is still inadequate understanding and coverage of Adult Education.

Edsource has not run an article about Adult Ed in a long while - and it needs to.

There has been little or no coverage of Adult Ed in the mainstream print media - LA Times, SF Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, etc. for a while now.

Meanwhile, big changes are taking place with little or no public understanding or input.

Hit the "read more" to learn more.