June 30, 1992 to July 1, 1995
Adult Education Act, P.L. 100-297 as Amended by the
National Literacy Act, P.L. 102-73

Submitted by:

California Department of Education
Specialized Programs Branch
Youth, Adult and Alternative Educational Services Division
Adult Education Unit


Chapter 5

The California State Plan for Adult Basic Education July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1993, has increased participation in adult basic education, increased interagency coordination and cooperation in the delivery of programs, and promoted competency-based education as an instructional strategy.

All of these goals are in the process of being achieved and will continue to be the goals of the Revised State Plan. These goals provide for the fulfillment of the literacy needs of individuals in California. [Section 342(c)(1)]. To improve access to users, the most recent year of the California State Plan for Adult Basic Education July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1993, the Adult Education Unit mailed a notice of availability of Adult Basic Education supplemental funds to the 282 districts operating secondary programs, 75 districts operating community colleges, 230 interested community-based organizations, and all state agencies involved with education, training, and job placement. This notice was also mailed to all 58 County Superintendents of Schools. In addition, notice of the availability of these funds was recorded in the California State Contracts Register. Funds were awarded on an entitlement basis. The number of agencies submitting Letters of Intent to apply for [P.L. 100-297, Section 321] funding were 270. The number of projects funded was 206. The agencies were as follows for 1990-91: Local Educational Agencies, 116; Community College Districts, 17; Community-Based Organizations, 48; and State Agencies, 3.1

Furthermore, the Adult Education Unit awarded basic education grants to agencies providing basic education or English as a Second Language instruction to eligible adults. Applicants will define their target population and the procedures to be used in meeting the needs of this population in the manner prescribed in the Section 321 application guidelines, Section VI.

For the 1990-91 fiscal year, California's Adult Education for the Homeless Program expended approximately 90 percent of its federal Stewart B. McKinney 1989 Homeless Assistance grant to 12 programs. The Adult Education for the Homeless Program has helped students improve reading and writing abilities, develop job skills, understand chemical dependency, and develop self-esteem and gain independence. The 12 sites located throughout California are each funded to serve 100 homeless adults. Over 1,686 persons were served by the 12 sites in 1990-91 as shown in CASAS Student Data Reports.

Finally, the English Literacy Program [Section 372] is now being implemented. Two of the agencies implementing the English Literacy Program are community-based organizations (i.e., the California Human Development Corporation and the San Luis Obispo Literacy Council, Inc). The Section 372 projects serve rural counties in southern, northern, and central coastal areas in California. The projects teach survival English, promote English literacy, and provide child care services to allow limited English proficient (LEP) female adults to attend classes. The projects also pay for child care and transportation costs.

The agencies have also developed innovative approaches to recruit LEP adults to their projects. Classes take place in public libraries, nursery schools, elementary schools and adult schools. All projects use a competency-based approach to teach English.

Overall the number of agencies served this year was higher than last year. In addition, the total number of individuals served has increased significantly. The Adult Education Unit continues to refine policies that will increase access to users by extending open-entry/open-exit competency-based education to alternative modes of service delivery.

To improve accountability, the Adult Education Unit has continued to make use of the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) as a common measurement instrument for [P.L. 100-297, Section 321] projects. In addition, the Adult Education Unit is evaluating the California State Plan for Adult Basic Education July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1993. This evaluation includes the following major activities: (1) on-site peer review of a rolling longitudinal sample of Section 321 grant recipients; (2) written survey of Section 321, and 353 fund recipients; (3) analysis of local assistance grantees' achievement data; (4) development of computerized data base of programs; and (5) case studies.

The Adult Education Unit has incorporated in current operations the following evaluative recommendations from the Evaluation of the Federal Four Year Plan:

To improve program quality and responsiveness, the Adult Education Unit considers activities that encourage local educational providers to be responsive to new needs and maintain quality programs. The Adult Education Unit has addressed this objective by providing staff development regionally through the OTAN project and 11 of its Regional Resource Centers. OTAN provides outreach to underfunded counties, technical assistance and staff development, and network development and dissemination of learning resources.

In addition, the English as a Second Language Institute provides staff development that helps meet the needs of our large English as a Second Language population. The Adult Literacy Instructors' Training (ALIT) Institute has completed its first year of operation. This Institute was designed for all instructors, particularly those who are new to literacy, competency-based education, and/or adult education.

To improve planning and coordination, the Adult Education Unit has written the Adult Education for the 21st Century: Strategic Plan to Meet California's Long-Term Adult Education Needs with the careful selection of an Advisory Committee composed of key stake holders to assure improved planning and coordination. The purpose of the Advisory Committee was to develop a long-term vision of adult education for the 21st Century. The Committee was specifically charged with providing a plan for adult schools and other adult services funded through the California Department of Education. High priority was also given to developing a Plan that addresses how adult schools might coordinate with other educational providers to serve the needs of the state and its population.

Thus, emphasis focuses on how to best provide learning opportunities to those who are performing below the level. Enrollees are those desiring to improve their basic skills, employability, or quality of life.

January, 1991 the Adult Education 2000 Project Strategic Plan: Adult School Field Survey was completed. This Survey indicated strong support for the concepts of the Strategic Plan. The Survey expressed unanimity in positive expressions of support for the vision and proactive planning offered to meet the increasing challenges and needs of the California adult population.

To improve planning and coordination, the CDE Adult Education Unit and the State Job Training Coordinating Council have jointly funded six Local Planning Consortia. These represent PICs, local welfare agencies, the Department of Developmental Services, business and industry, libraries, ROP/Cs, and volunteer organizations. The purpose of the Local Planning Consortia is to advise the Strategic Plan Interim Steering Committee and participate in planning specific strategic recommendations so that they are workable in diverse local settings. Local Planning Consortia are located in communities with established records for productive cross-agency cooperation. They include representatives from all major adult education providers and other stakeholders.

The essential components of the local planning consortia model are:

California has benefited greatly from the federal Adult Education Act [P.L. 100-297], as amended. We continue to implement a comprehensive competency-based program that serves as a model for the nation.

In addition, local advisory committees for adult education, private industry councils, local educational agencies and community-based organizations providing adult basic education under this Act, involved a wide range of agencies and institutions in the planning of their programs. At the state level, the California Department of Education regularly solicited input from local advisory committee members when major activities, such as revision of the State Plan, were undertaken. This was done on a thoroughly planned and regionalized basis to ensure that statewide needs were addressed.

Experience from implementing the California State Plan for Adult Basic Education July 1, 1989 to June 30, 1993 and Adult Education for the 21st Century: Strategic Plan to Meet California's Long-Term Adult Education Needs has influenced the goals of the Revised State Plan. Following are some ways by which this experience has influenced the directions of the current Plan:

A concern of Californians is that the needs of the illiterate English-speaking adults are not being met because of the pressure for limited classroom seats from the English as a Second Language students. Although 55-60 percent of California's functionally illiterate adults speak English as their native language, only 10-15 percent of federal and state resources combined for adult basic education serve this group, compared to 85-90 percent for the English as a Second Language population. In addition, evaluative data indicate that the 25 percent higher incentive to serve these students has not made a significant difference in the number of students attending Adult Basic Education classes. This Plan gives priority to assuring literacy services to the majority of functionally illiterate adults who speak English as their native language.

1 The State agencies funded were the California Department of Corrections, the California Department of Developmental Services, and the California Youth Authority.


***** Continued on "Ch.06a Goals, Actvties & Resrcs" *****