September 1, 2008
Digest No. 6


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 staffing changes:

  • Bert Cooper,  who was the consultant for Region 2 and recently assumed responsibility for the CASAS contract and for San Bernardino County, has left the Adult Education Office to take a position as Assistance Principal for Winterstein Adult Center, an adult education site in the San Juan District.
  • Karen Allen, CDE Consultant for Region 11b, will assume responsibility for the CASAS contract.
  • Myra Young, CDE Consultant for Region 10, will retain responsibility for San Bernardino until a replacement for Bert can be hired.
  • Wendi Maxwell, CDE Consultant, has announced her retirement as of December 1, 2009. Gloria Guzman-Walker will take over responsibility for the CALPRO contract, and is working with Wendi to create a smooth transition.
Adult Education Leadership Institute Applications

Applications for the Adult Education Leadership Institute for 2009-2010 and the Learning Communities Initiative for Site-Based Professional Development are now available online. The Leadership Institute application, related timeline and additional information are available online. Use this link to download the application for the Learning Communities Initiative [PDF].  

CAHSEE Readiness Assessment Ready for Field Testing

Designed to help students who are attempting to pass the English Language Arts portion of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), the CASAS-CAHSEE ELA Readiness Assessment will allow instructors to estimate a student’s readiness to take the English Language Arts portion of the exam. CASAS is recruiting volunteer agencies to administer a field test version of the assessment at least two weeks prior to actual CAHSEE exam dates of October 7th or November 4th or both.  Participation in this field test will provide students with valuable test-taking practice prior to taking the actual CAHSEE and help CASAS develop this valuable tool. If you are interested in participating in the field test process please contact Andrea Shields at (800) 255-1036 ext. 143 or

QuickSearch Online

Conduct unlimited searches through more than 2,300 instructional material titles, create customized reports, and link materials to your learner's skill levels and priority competencies using QuickSearch Online! This easy-to-use database provides an essential link between assessment and instruction in the CASAS system that aids:

  • Curriculum development
  • Targeting instruction based on assessment results
  • Filling in gaps in your existing curriculum
Life & Work Listening Series Available in CASAS eTests Version 2.10

Recently released in paper and pencil format, the new Life & Work Listening Series will be available in the upcoming release of CASAS eTests (Version 2.8). Another oft-requested feature included in this release is an optional timer to facilitate accommodating multiple examinees with multiple start-times. Contact Carol Farrell at 800.255.1036 X123 or for more information.

OTAN Training Survey

OTAN is preparing face-to-face and online workshops for the next academic year and we would like your opinion through a short (4 questions!) survey. Please encourage teachers, coordinators, and administrators to add their information at OTAN Training Survey.

We will consider the survey results as we plan training opportunities for this next year


College Transition Toolkit Now Available

The National College Transition Network (NCTN) has produced a new publication: The College Transition Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to program planning and implementation that draws on the expertise of practitioners from The New England ABE-to-College Transition Project and around the country. More details about the toolkit and ordering information are available online.

Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?

The New York Times recently published an article about reading print vs. reading online. It notes how our reading habits are changing as we read more online material and less print material, and considers the possible positive and negative aspects of this change.

Professional Development

Online Professional Development Classes

Adult educators may choose from 17 professional development classes available online from CALPRO on a wide range of topics, such as Just-in-Time Leadership: Smart Fiscal Management for Adult School Administrators, Effective Lesson Planning, Enhancing Learner Persistence, and more. Online registration for Fall classes is now open You can also download a copy of the 2008-2009 catalog.

Face-to-Face Workshops from CALPRO and OTAN

Adult education administrators can promote site-based professional development by scheduling a CALPRO workshop at their agency? Download a fact sheet on scheduling CALPRO workshops [PDF].

OTAN offers many face-to-face workshops to help build your professional development program. These no-cost workshops provide critical technology integration skills your teachers need to engage today’s technology-minded student. Check out the descriptions on the OTAN Web site and contact them soon to schedule a workshop for your agency. Available time slots will fill up fast!

Online Technology Workshops

With over 25 online workshops on technology topics to choose from, you are sure to find something interesting and applicable to your teaching! Are you a little worried about registering for an online workshop or not sure what to expect? No problem! OTAN has a short tutorial video available to help you.  Review the workshop descriptions and watch the video here.

California Fall 2008 Regional and Web-Based WIA Training

Online registration and training schedules for Workforce Investment Act Title II, Sections 225/231, and EL Civics funded agencies in California, and California Adult Schools are now available. Agencies can enroll for Web-based workshops with special focus topics in assessment, accountability, data collection, and data analysis and for regional two-day trainings scheduled at eleven sites across the state.

CASAS Handbook for ESL Teachers — Featuring WIA Title II Accountability Requirements

The interactive CASAS Handbook for ESL Teachers — Featuring WIA Title II Accountability Requirements is now available! This 48-page training and resource guide assists in improving programs by providing:

  • Overview of CASAS, the testing process, and the WIA Title II requirements
  • Information on how to use the CASAS system to help fulfill state-mandated requirements
  • Practice activities on using student and class reports to target instruction
  • Various other tools to help students achieve their goals

Teachers can use the handbook to locate and document site-specific information (such as from whom to get TOPSpro reports and when paperwork is due, plus contact information for key staff). It can be presented to an entire agency and is appropriate for mid-year hires to use as a self-directed learning tool.

Professional Development Catalog from CALPRO

The CALPRO Web site features a new Catalog of CALPRO Professional Development Resources for adult literacy providers. The catalog represents a comprehensive guide to CALPRO’s many professional development products and services, such as workshops, online courses, and research-based publications. 

Did you know…

Distance Learning Resources Moving to OTAN

OTAN is in the process of moving the California Distance Learning Project professional development resources to the OTAN Web site. Look for Distance Learning under Teaching Tools & Resources, to find sites with free online curriculum, information on ordering distance learning products, and a link to join the distance learning email list and to see the Innovation Programs online application and evaluation forms.

Sample Test Items for Classroom Use

Ease your students' testing anxiety by letting them practice their test-taking skills and complete answer sheets using the CASAS Sample Test Items. Sample test items are available for the Life and Work Reading Series Levels A - C, Life and Work Listening Series Levels A - C, and the Life Skills Listening Series Levels A - C.

"To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream;
The second is persistence."
— Cesar Chavez, Activist and Leader of the United Farm Workers

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