October 1, 2008
Digest No. 7


New Director to Lead CALPRO

Beginning Oct. 20, Mariann Fedele will assume the role of CALPRO Director. You can find a bio of Mariann Fedele, as well as news of recent and upcoming CALPRO events, in the Fall 2008 issue of CALPROgress, CALPRO’s semiannual newsletter.  Download a PDF copy of the Fall 2008 newsletter.

National Study of Best Practices in ESL and EL Civics

The Governmental Affairs Office is conducting a national study about best practices and the effectiveness of ESL and EL Civics programs. They will be in California in December to visit four sites. If you are interested in showcasing your exceptional program, please contact your regional consultant at CDE.

CA STAR Training Application Due Oct. 17

The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) are presenting the first phase of evidence-based reading instruction training for ABE teachers. Information and applications are online, and the application is due October 17.

Applications for Two Initiatives Available Online

Applications are available online for two initiatives: the 2008-09 Learning Communities Initiative (application due Nov. 3, 2008) and the 2009-2010 Adult Education Leadership Institute (application due Jan. 9, 2009). Prospective applicants to the Leadership Institute should read the invitation memo, which outlines the program structure, cost, etc.

Technology & Distance Learning Symposium

Save the date! OTAN will host a free symposium on Feb. 17-19, 2009, at the Sacramento County Office of Education. There will be workshops, keynote speaker(s), and pre-conference intensive sessions. More information will be announced, and registration will be available online in November.

Changes in Core Performance Surveys

The Core Performance Follow-Up Measures Survey gathers information about goal achievement from students who have left the adult education program. To improve user-friendliness and increase response rates, CDE has approved two significant changes:

  1. Survey is now shorter and more concise.
  2. Delivery methods to students include phone and email (in addition to regular mail).

These changes are effective October 1, 2008 for students who have left the program during the 1st Quarter of Program Year 2008–09. 

Revised Secondary Level Assessments Available This Fall

The Secondary Level Assessment Series features a battery of tests that focus on the application of reading and mathematics skills. The tests are typically used as standardized pre- and post assessments administered at the beginning and end of a course. CASAS will be releasing newly revised Secondary Level Assessments over the next several months. Reading for Language Arts, Reading for Biological Science, and Math are now available. Later releases will include "Reading for…" in the contexts of economics, American government, U.S. history, physical science, and world history. CASAS will also release corresponding Test Administration Manuals with each test.


Green Jobs Guidebook

The Green Jobs Guidebook is a free download and was compiled to help California job seekers and students discover the vast potential of green jobs across the state.  The book also highlights that several jobs are available to people with a high school diploma / GED or community college degree.  Specifically:

  • 45 jobs profiled are available with only a high school diploma or GED, many making over $ 25 / hour.
  • 37 jobs other jobs profiled are available with either community college or apprenticeship program experience, many of these jobs make upwards of $ 40 / hour.
U.S. Must Teach Innovation and Cultural Competence, New Report Says

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has released a new report on the skills needed to keep the U.S. competitive in the current market. It details changes in the current job market and in the organization of companies, and ties these changes to the skills employees must have to thrive.

Going "Paperless" Can Work for Schools

Some teachers are deciding to stop making so many copies, and even to give up copying entirely. Almost every resource is available online, or can be made so.

Professional Development

GED Academy

Register now to participate in CCAE’s GED Teacher Academy. With dates in Sacramento, Richmond, Tulare, Torrance and San Diego, there’s a location near you. More information is available online.

TOPSpro Network Meetings

TOPSpro Network Group Meetings are underway in ten regions across California. Field-based facilitators lead meeting discussions based on topics of interest to that region. These network meetings are an excellent opportunity for local agency users to discuss use of TOPSpro software or accountability requirements and to share solutions and best practices. CASAS staff is also available either in person or by phone to answer questions. If you’d like to participate, go to the CASAS Online Registration page, scroll down to find TOPSpro Network Group Meetings and select the meeting most convenient to you either by date or location.

Additional CASAS eTests Online Demonstrations Scheduled

Because of enthusiastic response to this popular test delivery application, CASAS has scheduled two additional CASAS eTests online demonstration sessions in October. To attend a demonstration, go to the CASAS Online Registration page, select CASAS eTests from the Workshops pull-down menu and register for the session that best suits your schedule.

Online Technology Workshops in October

Online workshops from OTAN in October include using PowerPoint to promote language skills, creating podcasts, and practice with wikis. Register on the Adult Education Training Calendar or get more information on the OTAN Website.

Did you know…

CALPRO Fact Sheets

The CALPRO Web site features five fact sheets on topics of interest to adult education instructional staff and administrators? The purpose of the fact sheets is to provide information about current trends and issues in adult education and to direct users to additional resources on topics such as authentic materials, universal design for learning, health literacy, assessing the needs of adult English language learners, and adult learning theories. Download the PDF fact sheets here.   

Nutrition Lesson Online for ESL

Eating Well, Living Well, a grant from the USDA’s Food Stamp Program through the California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California, has launched a free online student lesson called Fast Food: Healthy Choices. The lesson includes video and interactive activities, and will be a good addition to intermediate and above classes on food, health and nutrition.

Booklets on Helping Your Child in School, for CBET and Parent ED

The U.S. Department of Education has posted several booklets on helping your child in school that could be useful for both Parent Education and CBET classes. Titles include Helping Your Child Learn History, Helping Your Child Learn Science, and more.

Need An Email List?

OTAN will host a listserv for your site, program or professional group. Contact Marian Thacher to get started, mthacher@otan.us or 916-228-2597,

Try Your Own Online Meeting or Workshop

OTAN is offering to adult education providers the opportunity to try out online meetings using Adobe Connect. There is a nominal fee for use and technical support, and a charge for using the OTAN conference call line, but Voice over IP works also and is free.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
— William Butler Yeats

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