May 1, 2009
Digest No. 13

Message from Debra Jones, Adult Education Administrator at CDE

In this time of transition, communication with each other and with the California Department of Education Adult Education Office is vital. We are in the process of re-working the Budget Forum website to provide current and accurate information. Until the website is back online, you may email me or your CDE Consultant and we will respond to your questions.

It is more important than ever that we define the work of adult schools across the state. I believe that the next couple of years will be critical in the rebuilding and repositioning of adult education. It is a time to strategically define the role of California adult education and to create policy and legislation that will ensure its future. 

The Strategic Planning process is under way with WestEd. They have interviewed a number of individuals, and will conduct a Delphi Group. The Steering Committee is soliciting information on other states’ models of adult education. Next month WestEd will present an update of what they have learned. The Adult Education Office is looking to providing the field with venues to participate in the process and to provide input and feedback regarding the strategic planning process and the next steps for adult education.

The staff of the Adult Education Office is working at the state level to understand the implications of the February budget decisions and to offer you the support that is needed as you make difficult decisions regarding your adult education program.

Let us know how we can support you through this transition.

Debra Jones


Webinar on Education for the Green Economy

The Association for Career and Technical Education is offering a free Webinar on "Education for the Green Economy: Opportunities, Resources and Models." The webinar will be held on May 20, 2 p.m. California time, and is free. All you need is a computer and a phone line.

CASAS Presents New TOPSpro® Enterprise Database Management Software

Come meet the newest CASAS technology— TOPSpro Enterprise! Completely rewritten using the latest Windows Vista® tools, this all new system features an entirely new database engine, Web deployment capability, and the familiarity of standalone or local network installation if preferred. Come to the CASAS National Summer Institute and find out how TOPSpro Enterprise takes accountability to a whole new dimension. (Pre-registration and LAB fee required.)

California WIA Title II and Adult School Reports Now Available Online

Four 2007-2008 California WIA Title II and Adult School Reports describe demographic and other key characteristics of adult learners in California as well as learning progress and goal attainment of program participants. These reports are now (or soon will be) available to view and download online.

Use critical information in these reports to inform curriculum, guide instruction, and document student progress and other learning outcomes. Program-level information describes provider type, geographic region, and enrollment and outcomes by program area.

Reading for American Government Secondary Level Assessment Now Available

The CASAS Secondary Level Assessment Series features a battery of tests that focus on the application of reading and mathematics skills. These tests are typically used as standardized pre- and post assessments administered at the beginning and end of a course. This release of Reading for American Government follows the 2008 release of Reading for Language Arts, Reading for Biological Science, and Mathematics, Reading for U.S. History, Reading for World History,and Reading for Physical Science. Corresponding Test Administration Manuals are available for each assessment. CASAS will release "Reading for Economics" later in 2009.


Country Star Helps Increase Advocacy for Adult Education.

On May 5th, Columbia Nashville's Gretchen Wilson will travel to Capitol Hill to hand deliver nearly 10,000 letters from Tennesseans to both Tennessee congressmen and senators urging them to increase funding for adult education programs. For Gretchen Wilson, the issue of adult education is very personal - until last year, she was one of the millions of Americans who hadn't finished their high school education. A dedicated mother, it was important for Wilson to earn her diploma not only for herself, but to prove to her 8-year old daughter Grace how important education is. Read more on OTAN.

State Fiscal Stabilization Funds for California

California is the first state to have its application for stabilization funds approved. These funds, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be distributed to local education agencies in May. Read more on OTAN.

Help for Laid Off Workers

The California Labor Federation has created a Web page with links to a variety of supports for those laid off from their jobs. Unemployment benefits, health insurance, and keeping your home are a few of the topics covered.

CAHSEE Affecting Graduation Rates

A Stanford University study has found that the CAHSEE is disproportionately affecting girls and minorities, and results do not show that low achieving students are more motivated by the need to pass the exam in order to graduate, report the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee.

Professional Development

Online Workshops from OTAN for May

Attend an online workshop and participate in professional development without leaving your desk. On May 8 Barry Bakin can walk you through Getting Started with Blogs, and on May 20 Melinda Holt will offer an overview of many free Google products that go way beyond search.  On May 22, take advantage of Kristi Reyes’ expertise with Digital Storytelling projects for students, and also on May 22 Susan Coulter will show ABE teachers and others how your students can create and revise a Personal Budget using Excel.

Keynote and Other Highlights at CASAS National Summer Institute

Scheduled for June 22nd through June 25th in San Diego, the 29th Annual CASAS National Summer Institute addresses critical issues related to the integration of adult basic skills and workforce training, the increasing role of technology-based learning models, and successful transition model programs. Adult education and workforce development professionals from across the country will share successful program strategies and promising practices during almost100 trainings and breakout sessions. Cheryl Keenan, Director of Adult Education and Literacy at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) and Dr. Allison Rossett, long time Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, will address Summer Institute participants during the keynote general session.   Learn more about speakers and sessions by reviewing the Summer Institute conference program.

CALPRO Training-of-Trainers' Institute
June 29-30

CALPRO will offer a Training-of-Trainers' (ToT) Institute in Los Angeles on June 29-30. The purpose of the Institute is to build professional development leadership in the adult education field and develop a cadre of adult educators to facilitate workshops on CALPRO professional development modules. Nominations are due Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

NIFL Training on Learning Disabilities
July 27-31

CALPRO will partner with the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) to offer an intensive professional development offering: Learning to Achieve: A Research-Based Training on Learning to Serve Adults with Learning Disabilities, a five-day training program designed to help adult education and vocational training practitioners understand learning disabilities (LDs) in adults and learn how to actively support adults with LD in educational and workplace settings. The training will take place from July 27-31 in Sacramento. The National Institute for Literacy will cover all costs for participants to attend the five-day training including: travel, accommodations, and meals. The only cost not covered is staff time to attend. Nomination forms are due May 29, and more information is available on the CALPRO site.

Did you know?

Spring 2009 Issue
Transitions Theme

Just published, the Spring 2009 issue of CALPROgress focuses on transitions. This issue contains articles by state and national leaders on topics such as adult education-to-college transitions program models, adult education-to-workforce program models, ESL-to-ABE transition research, corrections-to­ community transitions as a program model, and the nuts and bolts of building a bridge program.

Simplify Data Reporting Using CASAS TOPSpro® Listers

Administrators, do your TOPSpro Data Integrity Reports show inaccurate or incomplete data? Do the same data issues show up repeatedly in every report? Find answers using "Listers" — lists of your agency's specific TOPSpro records. Sit with your data technician to view the student records. Different colors indicate records that are missing necessary information. Voilà! Mysteries solved!  To learn other TOPSpro tips, register for a hands-on TOPSpro Special Topics lab session at the CASAS National Summer Institute. You can merge student identification numbers, back up or import and export data and acquire valuable skills such as advanced correcting/editing, report generation, and advanced report analysis. Learn to interpret and use reports such as the Federal Tables, NRS Performance, NRS Level Completion, Data Integrity, Monitor Reports, and Class Competency Reports to improve programs and increase benchmarks. (Pre-registration and LAB fee required.)

Clickers Provide Instant Assessment

Clickers, also known as Audience Response Systems, are the subject of the April web-based classroom activity article on OTAN. If you would like to learn more about clickers, and see some free online tools that poll your learners, check out the latest post.

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
— Albert Einstein

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