Thursday, December 18, 2014

All Out For Berkeley Adult School

Destabilization leads to problems.

Destabilization makes an individual, a group, or an institution vulnerable to disease, infiltration, attack, and at worst, death or extinction.

Stabilization not only keeps the individual, group or institution strong, it enables the individual, group or institution to provide shelter, support, and sustenance to others. 

Help or harm - in domino effect.

Hit the "read more" link to see how that plays out in Berkeley.

Monday, December 15, 2014

CFT: Adult Educators Facing Uncertain Future

From the December 12 "Inside CFT" e-newsletter:

CFT fights for Adult Educators facing uncertain future

Adult educators across the state face an uncertain future.  The Local Control Funding Formula eliminated funding for adult education, and districts are only required to fund it through the end of this school year.  AB 86 legislation created new structures to fund adult ed in both K-12 and community colleges, but the process currently leaves teachers and students with more questions than answers.  The committees formed to answer those questions excluded educators, staff and students from the beginning.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

Must Read SYAS Blog Post Series on Community Colleges and Adult Schools: How They Work and Who Does What

The always chock full of facts and insight Save Your Adult School Blog has a new series on

Community Colleges and Adult Schools:  How They Work and Who Does What.

The series is a must-read.

For that reason, I'm providing links to post in the series and a few pull-out quotes here. 

I urge you to read the series in full.  (As posts are added to the series, I will add links here.)

Part 1   The Community Colleges Credit and Noncredit Programs.

"The “Ending California’s Public Adult Education…” presentation is well worth reading, as it explains why the noncredit/adult school model is under attack. While the model welcomes all students, it is particularly helpful for adults who are not only busy, but dealing with the stresses of poverty. In this type of class, students who had little formal schooling as children or never did well in the traditional school system find a home and begin to fulfill their potential. But with no grades, no credentials or degrees, no hard beginning and end date, it doesn’t look much like what we typically think of as “school.” It’s that “focus on learning” that throws people. Learning? What about grades and tests?
But anyone who has taught this type of class can tell you it works, and furthermore, there are standardized test results and other data that demonstrate its effectiveness. There is more than one way to educate people, and not everyone benefits from the formal school model."

Part 2  Adult Schools:  Community Interest and Mandated Programs

"Adults with low levels of literacy are exactly the students both adult school mandated programs and community college noncredit programs were designed to serve. With more than five million people in need of these services, the efforts of both adult school mandated programs and community college noncredit programs are sorely needed, and both must be significantly expanded, if the educational needs of California’s adults are to be adequately met."

Part 3  Who's Doing What

"The LAO report does not demonstrate much “overlap” between community colleges and adult schools. A concern that there is “overlap” or duplication of effort between community colleges and adult schools is one of the driving forces behind proposals to reform the adult education system, including the AB86 Regional Consortium process. Governor Brown even proposed to eliminate adult schools in 2013 because of this supposed overlap. The LAO report mentions “overlap” as an issue, but the breakdown on page 11 of the report does not show much overlap at all. Instead, it suggests that a division of labor between adult schools and community colleges has already naturally evolved, and that the consortia will work best if they plan to build on the division of labor that already exists, rather than reinventing the wheel."

Part 4  The Differences May Surprise You - How Immigration, Parking, Standardized Testing, and More Affect Adult Schools and Community Colleges

"Adult schools are school, and community colleges are college. This may seem so simple it shouldn’t even have to be stated, but it plays out in surprising ways. Because one is part of the K-12 school system and the other is an institution of higher learning, adult schools and community colleges interact very differently with the immigration system, have different approaches for making education affordable for low income students, and are even differently distributed throughout the state."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Set Your Clocks to January 9

January 9th, 2015. 

A Friday.

That's when Governor Brown is expected to release his Budget Proposal.

The one that will say whether things will get easier or harder for K12 Adult Schools.

Here's the full scoop from CCAE on what that might mean for Adult Schools and what need to do in the time leading up to his announcement.

By the way, membership to CCAE is on half-price special for new members right now.  Your membership makes their advocacy possible.

In just a few short weeks, K12 adult education will have a much clearer understanding of the future and, by my estimation, it’s looking much brighter on the horizon—a new day is upon us. In the past two months we’ve been working vigorously to affect the January proposal before our window of opportunity closed. It appears that window is now closed as I’ve been notified that the Governor is in the Department of Finance making the final call on each of the various budget items as I prepare this update for you. While the window seems to be closed now, we’re keeping the curtains open. While nothing is certain until we see the Governor’s budget proposal on Friday, January 9th, we are feeling quite good about our prospects for the budget proposal and in it, our fate.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Students Get A Seat At The Table

Fantastic news!

Students will (finally) get a seat at the decision-making table.

There will be two student reps amongst the new AB86 Workgroup Configuration.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Edsource Commentary: "Adult Schools Need Dedicated Funding"

In Edsource, a commentary by Karen Arthur and Kristen Pursely:

Adult schools need dedicated funding

In his 2013 budget, Gov. Jerry Brown included a provision to safeguard existing adult schools from further cuts and closures. The “maintenance of effort” clause mandated that school districts maintain their current level of funding for adult education for two years, during the formation of regional consortia, as outlined by Assembly Bill 86.

The maintenance of effort expires at the end of the current school year. Adult schools and community colleges are currently engaged in a regional planning process to create consortia between adult schools and community colleges, with the regions defined by community college districts. Brown has indicated that he intends to provide money for adult education through the regional consortia, although he has not yet spelled out how to do so.

Regional consortia funding would come through the Community College Chancellor’s Office, not through the Department of Education. The governor and the finance department favor this model because it simplifies the budgets of K-12 schools under the Local Control Funding Formula, which permanently eliminated adult education as a protected program.

Brown’s goal of putting “responsibility where it should be,” by eliminating the prescriptive commands from Sacramento, is admirable. However, the educational needs of California’s adults were not considered when this model was adopted – and, not surprisingly, the model would serve them poorly. Simply transferring the money for adult education to community colleges without restrictions will not assure the colleges will actually spend money for this purpose.

Hit the "read more" link to learn more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The New AB86 Workgroup

The AB86 website now lists the new members of the Workgroup.

Reminder:  The Work Group does the nitty-gritty work.  The Cabinet is the Big Boss.

What's happening in there?
There was no official announcement about this change.  There was no email sent to those of us on the email list.  There is nothing in their November Newsletter.   There was no explanation or announcement of why or how the change was made.

Perhaps the Cabinet, the "Decider," had very good reasons for making these changes.

They did not choose, however, to share them.

They did not choose transparency.

I find that troubling.

Here, in any case, is the information on the AB86 Website:

AB 86 Work Group

The AB 86 Work Group, established by the AB 86 Cabinet, has twelve members, four representing adult education programs in school districts and four representing adult education programs in community colleges. Four staff members, two from the CCCCO and two from the CDE, are also in the Work group. This Work Group will develop a comprehensive Request for Application to fund planning and implementation grants.

If you have comments or questions for the Work Group, we encourage you to use the orange “feedback” button to the left of the page so that your feedback can be properly reviewed.

Below is a listing of the AB 86 Work Group Members:

John StanskasAcademic Senate for California Community Colleges
Mike ReeseAssociation of California Community College Administrators
Rocky BettarAssociation of California School Administrators
Association of Chief Business Officials*
Cynthia Parulan-ColferCalifornia Adult Education Administration Association 
California Association of School Business Officials*
Rirchard HansenCalifornia Community College Independents 
S. Craig JusticeCalifornia Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers
Chris NelsonCalifornia Council for Adult Education
Kathy DavisCalifornia Council for Adult Education
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association* 
Jack CarrollCalifornia Federation of Teachers
Teri BurnsCalifornia School Boards Association
Tristan BrownCalifornia School Employees Association
Wendy PlewCalifornia Teachers Association
Bob HarperCampbell Adult and Community Education 
Debra JonesCCCCO Dean, Career Education Practices
Neil KellyCCCCO Specialist, Career Education Practices
Carmen Martinez-CalderonCDE  Coordinated Student Support and Adult Education Division
Shadidi Sai-MaatCDE Coordinated Student Support and Adult Education Division
Lynette NyaggahCommunity College Association
Community College League of California*
Kris FertelFaculty Association of California Community Colleges
Andrea RodriguezLAUSD Division of Adult and Career Education
Candace LeeLAUSD, Division of Adult and Career Education 
Joanne DurkeeMt. Diablo Adult and Career Education 
Donna BurnsMt. San Antonio College 
Greg SchulzNorth Orange County Community College District 
Erica LeblancSanta Monica College 
 United Teachers of Los Angeles*

*This organization has not yet named a participant.

You can read another post on this topic here.

In that post, I describe what some of these organizations do.