March 2, 2009
Digest No. 11


Promising Practices and EL Civics: Making a Difference

Nomination forms are now available for the Promising Practices and EL Civics: Making a Difference in the Community Awards. These CDE awards (administered by CASAS) recognize WIA Title II-funded ABE/ASE/ESL and EL Civics programs that have implemented innovative, creative and successful projects and practices. Award recipients will be recognized at the 2009 CASAS Summer Institute, and will serve as models for other agencies seeking to improve their adult education programs. Nomination forms are due on or before March 30, 2009.

Technology and Distance Learning Symposium Materials Now Online

The Technology and Distance Learning Symposium provided two keynote addresses, eight hands-on lab sessions, and 47 concurrent sessions.  Handouts are available online now, and will be posted to the Symposium site as they are made accessible for those with disabilities. Video of both keynotes and many sessions, as well as audio recordings of others, will be available on the site soon.


State Budget Crisis

A state budget has now been passed that reduces adult education funding by 15.4% for this year, and places it in Tier 3, meaning that state adult education funds can be used by districts for "other educational purposes" this year and for the next four years. Some issues remain to be resolved. More information is available on OTAN.

New CDE Web Site for Jobs and Careers

The California Department of Education has posted a new Web resource called "California Direct Connect – Links to Your Future." The Web pages are designed to help students and workers find jobs, explore careers, investigate opportunities to continue their education, and access resources to overcome barriers for success in the workplace.

Economic Hard Times Increase Demand for GED

The Chicago Tribune reports that the number of people seeking GEDs has increased dramatically as more people lose their jobs and need to find new ones. This article mentions a sharp increase in the number of people taking the GED in California in the last year.

Professional Development

Online Workshops from OTAN for March

Learn how to put course content online using Moodle, or about the many free resources available from Google, or how to create and post sound files for your students. These and other online workshops are available in March. Register using the California Adult Education Training Calendar.

Computer Using Educators

This California conference is one of the largest educational technology conferences in the country. Join many fellow adult educators in learning about what’s new in the world of technology at the CUE Conference March 5-7 in Palm Springs.

CATESOL and CCAE Both in Pasadena

The state CATESOL Conference for ESL teachers and administrators will be held in Pasadena on April 17-19. The California Council on Adult Education (CCAE) will hold its annual conference also in Pasadena on May 1-2. These conferences are opportunities for adult educators to get together, learn from each other, and hear about developments around the state and nationally.

Early Bird Registration Available for 29th Annual CASAS National Summer Institute

Join program administrators, instructional staff, and other educators at the CASAS National Summer Institute, June 23 – 25. To better address key issues in developing and implementing quality programs, a new format includes a pre-conference session on Monday, June 22 and a full day on Thursday, June 25 to allow for more interactive break-out sessions. Deadline for early bird registration (save $50) is March 12. Register online with a check or purchase order and receive an additional $25 discount!

Spring 2009 CASAS Web Training

Several new topics are offered, many in quick, short sessions that focus on one specific subject for 20, 30, or 45 minute intervals. All California WIA Title II and EL Civics funded agencies are required to attend at least one CASAS Implementation Training and one California Accountability session — either in person at a regional training, or at an online Web session — each program year. Agencies can register online for as many different workshops as they wish. If you have questions consider registering for the 30 minute overview of the new CASAS trainings and formats or email is no fee to register for any session.

Did you know…

CALPRO Offers Professional Development Resources

The CALPRO Web site offers a wide variety of professional development resources for adult education teachers on instructional strategies. The Teachers page provides information about CALPRO online courses, resource guides, research publications, and a directory of post-secondary options for professional development. Also, the page provides links to additional teaching tools through professional organizations and other resources.

CALPRO Features an Administrators Guide

The CALPRO Web site features an online guide for adult education administrators. This resource guide covers essential information on topics such as budgeting, marketing the adult education program, the principal as instructional leader, accountability, enrollment policy options, community collaboration, and getting ready for the CCR and WASC. Download a PDF file of this document by visiting CALPRO's Website.  

CASAS Has Sample Test Items Available

A selection of sample test items from the CASAS Life and Work reading series are now available in print or PowerPoint format for use in computer labs and classrooms with teacher/demonstration computers.


Printable Version

PowerPoint Version


Level A

Level A


Level B

Level B


Level C

Level C

CASAS thanks North Orange Community College District instructors Cindi Badi and Ngoc Luu for the suggestion and the initial conversion to PowerPoint.

Key TOPSpro Reports for Program Administrators

A powerful accountability system, CASAS TOPSpro™ (Tracking of Programs and Students) database management software provides more than 150 reports that communicate program effectiveness to district, community, and state and federal policy makers. The most helpful and easy-to-use Data Integrity Report (DIR) allows administrators to monitor agency success in compiling a complete and accurate database. The DIR displays 27 critical data items that clearly convey agency status in meeting State and Federal reporting requirements. The ongoing, constant goal is to see ALL numbers in the Item Count column of the DIR as zero. Throughout the year, some data elements record as more than zero for various reasons. Attending to those elements leads to more zeroes and hence more complete and useful agency data. The Data Integrity Exceptions report lists by student name the data issues that contribute to inaccurate or incomplete data issues on the DIR.  Learn more about these and others in “Getting the Most from your TOPSpro Reports,” a CASAS booklet that highlights the essentials of data collection and reporting. You can access the booklet from the TOPSpro download area if you are a member of the TOPSpro Virtual Community. To request membership to this group, you must first login at CASAS home page then follow instructions at Virtual Communities/TOPSpro.

"He who opens a school door, closes a prison."
— Victor Hugo

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