August 1, 2008
Digest No. 5


Changes in the Adult Education Office at CDE

Debra Jones, Administrator of the Adult Education Office at the California Department of Education, has announced the following changes in staffing, effective August 1:

  • Cliff Moss will work with Career and Technical Education initiatives
  • Karen Norton will monitor the OTAN contract
  • Cliff and Karen will share responsibility for Region 4
  • Mary Lindgren will manage the federal WIA grant
  • Myra Young will be the data master for the Adult Education Office with a particular focus on the ABE Initiative, supported by Liane Akaki, and will continue as the consultant for Riverside County
  • Bert Cooper will become the consultant for San Bernardino, and will also be the contract monitor for CASAS
  • Sheila Bollenbach will be the consultant for Region 2, and will continue to focus on special populations

These changes are implemented with the goal of better serving the field and moving forward the particular initiatives that are the charge of the Adult Education Office.


2008 - 09 Administration Manual for California Available Online

Designed to help local agencies and programs meet required data collection and accountability mandates, the 2008–09 manual provides extensive instructions and guidelines for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II, State Apportionment, CalWORKS, and PBA programs. The manual is prepared by CASAS and will be available in August or by going to the upper right section of the CASAS California Accountability Page under "Introduction." Contact to request assistance if necessary.

CASAS Competencies

The platform upon which CASAS builds all of its assessments, the CASAS Competencies address critical skills required for learner success in the workplace, community and family. Several major competency areas including education, financial literacy, health and medical information, media literacy, and technology were expanded or added to during a recent revalidation and revision process. CASAS users who coded materials or curriculum to the 2003 competencies and who wish to see a complete listing of old-to-new competency correlations may access the document Correlation of CASAS Competencies – Version 2003 to Version 2008.

Online Computer Course for
Adult Learners

ProLiteracy has partnered with to create an online course for adult literacy learners. Students learn how to use SuperPages for such tasks as locating a business or getting directions. Each page is narrated, and the Website offers a free downloadable workbook. Read more

California Tracks Dropout Students More Aggressively

Improved tracking of high school dropout statistics show that one in four high school students dropped out before graduation last year. Read more.

Tough Choices or
Tough Times

This report from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce highlights the critical need for a more educated workforce. Read more.

40% of U.S. Superintendents Plan to Retire Within Five Years

Oklahoma superintendents average 5.5 years on the job but some of Oklahoma's cities retain these leaders for fewer than 36 months, according to a state education-department analysis. Nationally, the picture may be even bleaker, with a recent American Association of School Administrators report finding that 85% of superintendents don't believe there are enough aspiring leaders to replace those who plan to retire. (Oklahoma City, Okla.) (7/14)

Professional Development

Fiscal Management for New Adult School Administrators

Beginning in mid-September, new administrators can get very practical help on matters of fiscal management through a five-week online course. Led by Bakersfield Adult School’s Susan Handy, a seasoned administrator, Just-in-Time Leadership: Smart Fiscal Management for Adult School Administrators is now open for registration.  Enrollment is limited.

In addition, CALPRO will offer three other online professional development courses this fall. Enrollment in these free courses is limited.  For registration and additional details visit

Education Professionals Gather at CASAS National Summer Institute

The 28th Annual Summer Institute was a huge success with more than 700 participants attending from 31 states, the Pacific Rim, Thailand, Singapore and El Salvador. CASAS is particularly pleased with the participation from local, state, and national presenters, in providing more than 100 workshops, training sessions, and panel discussions that focused on key issues in adult education and training. Professionals working in youth, adult, and workforce education programs gathered last month to meet with agencies and education providers across the country (and internationally) to share ideas about assessment, staff training, TOPSpro database management, CASAS eTests implementation — in short, what really works in the field. Copies of many of the Institute training sessions and workshops are available in the Download Center.  The 2009 CASAS National Summer Institute will be held June 23-25 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego. Please mark your calendars!

OTAN Workshops Promote Instructional Technology Skills

OTAN offers free staff development workshops covering topics such as how to find good online resources for instruction, creating Web pages for the classroom, and using Word or PowerPoint for instruction. See the complete list of workshops, and contact Linda Swanson at or 800-894-3113 to schedule a workshop or get more information.

Did you know…


…the CALPRO Web site features a new research digest on culturally relevant practice? This digest explores issues of culture and culturally relevant practice in adult education programs and suggests several practical strategies for educators. The digest highlights studies that identify issues of cultural difference and provides recommendations for making the practice of adult education more culturally relevant.  This digest is the newest of several publications featured on CALPRO’s Resources Web page, where educators can find the latest information on a wide body of relevant research. For a copy of the research digest on Culturally Relevant Practice, visit

Links for Teachers

…OTAN is always adding new links for teachers. Under Teaching Tools & Resources/Online Tools we have added Teacher’s Corner, a Web site for finding printable worksheets or creating your own. And under ASE Math there are several new Web links to check out.


…more teens are eschewing real-world jobs for entrepreneurial opportunities online in virtual environments such as "Second Life," computing experts say. "If a young person wants to experiment with running a business, they're not just engaging in thought experiments and case studies; they're actually working with real people and real money," says Joey Seiler, editor of "Often, the amounts [to be made] are limited and the startup costs are relatively minimal." MSNBC/ (7/14)

It's never too late to be what you might have been.
— George Eliot, Author

These items are for information only. CASAS, OTAN and CALPRO items are supported by CDE.