December 1, 2008
Digest No. 9


Message from CALPRO's New Director, Marianne Fedele

I began my career in adult basic education in 1991 by teaching English through the Foundation for Democracy in Poland, the education project of the Solidarity Movement in Poland. Teaching university students and workers at Adam Mickiewicz University, this project linked the importance of lifelong learning and adult education to the functioning of Poland’s fledgling democracy. In the years that followed I returned to my undergraduate alma mater, Rutgers University, to pursue a masters degree in education. I have served as a classroom teaching in ESOL, GED and ABE settings, run a library-based literacy program, provided transitional instruction for student athletes newly enrolled at Rutgers University, and for the past seven years conducted professional development on behalf of the New York State Education Department for adult education practitioners throughout New York city and state.

I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work within the adult education system in California and to pursue life as a resident of this great state. I have had the good fortune to work on projects with long-time practitioners and leaders in the California field. I look forward learning more, sharing my experience, and contributing to the growth of the most robust adult education system in the country!

Register Now for Tech and Distance Learning Symposium

Registration is now open for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium which will be held at the Sacramento County Office of Education February 17 – 19, 2009. There is no charge for the symposium, but registration is important to facilitate planning for workshops and lunches. Read more.

ESL Learner Portal Available Online for Free

USA Learns, a learner Web site for learning basic English skills, launched on November 7, and has quickly gained popularity among English learners, with visitors from every state, and 85 other countries within the first week. Use this site for distance learning courses, or refer students from your waiting list.

Changes in WIA II 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.  All WIA II agencies must download the new, shorter surveys that are due to CASAS on January 31, 2009. Questions should be directed to Adriana Terry.

Secondary Level Assessments Available December 1

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 released the newly revised Secondary Level Assessments Reading for Language Arts, Reading for Biological Science, and Math in September, 2008. Reading for U.S. History, Reading for World History, and Reading for Physical Science will be available to order on December 1. Early 2009 releases will include "Reading for Economics and Reading for American Government." CASAS will also release corresponding Test Administration Manuals with each assessment. For information contact Andrea Shields.


CNN Heroes Project

This year one of the featured heroes in the CNN Heroes project is an adult school administrator from Tennessee, nominated by Gretchen Wilson, a well-known country singer, for helping her get her GED. Read more.

State's Population is Growing, Aging, and Becoming More Diverse

The California Budget Project released a report in August on demographic changes in California. Charts show projected changes in overall population as well as changes in the ethnic make-up of the state.

State Directors Make Adult Ed Recommendations

The National Council of State Directors of Adult Education has submitted recommendations to the Obama transition team on what adult education issues should receive attention during the first 100 days of the new administration.

Professional Development

December 2008 Trainings: Online Registration Available

Two final CASAS Regional Trainings are scheduled in Torrance (December 4-5) and Hayward (December 9-10). These trainings are for California Workforce Investment Act Title II, Sections 225/231 and EL Civics funded agencies, and California Adult Schools.  First day sessions include “Implementation for New Users” in the morning and “Accountability for New Users” in the afternoon. “TOPSpro Basics” is offered on the second day. Register online now by searching according to location, date, or workshop title!

Online Workshops from OTAN for December and January

Choose from 3 online technology workshops this month, including workshops on using digital audio, and new features of Google. In January there are even more choices – Excel Activities for the Classroom, Getting Started with Wikis, and five others. Check out and register for your choice on the CA Adult Ed Training Calendar.

New Study Circle Facilitator Training

Learn to facilitate a study circle at your agency!  Register by Dec. 15, 2008 for the Jan. 23 training in San Jose. The registration form and additional details appear in the Invitation Memo

Leadership Institute Applications Due

New administrators interested in participating in the 2009-2010 Leadership Institute are invited to apply by Jan. 9, 2009. Read the related invitation memo and download a copy of the application.

Register for Winter 2009 Online Courses

In January, adult educators can take online professional development courses related to learning disabilities, multilevel ESL, learner persistence, and questioning strategies.  Enrollment is limited, so register early! As of mid-December, registration opens for Understanding the Adult Learner, which begins in February.  For details, visit CALPRO’s Online Courses Web page.

2009 CASAS National Summer Institute: Registration Open

The 2009 CASAS National Summer Institute will highlight best practices in accountability, assessment, and evaluation systems that inform instruction, promote student success and focus on continuous program improvement.  Agencies receiving Promising Practices and EL Civics Making a Difference awards will share their successes. Technology sessions will provide hands on training in implementing TOPSpro Enterprise, CASAS eTests and creating reports to inform data driven program improvement. Accountability and assessment training workshops for both new and experienced staff will help agencies prepare for the 2009-2010 program year.   It is a premiere opportunity to gain essential knowledge and skills in accountability, assessment, and program development. Register now and join program administrators, instructional staff, and other educators at this once-a-year forum in San Diego, CA June 22 - 25!

New Online Course on Naturalization

EL/Civics Online is a collaborative project of the U.S. Department of Education/Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services/Office of Citizenship (USCIS). It is a four-part series of online courses to prepare ESL instructors and volunteers to integrate U.S. History, U.S. Government, Civic Engagement, and the Naturalization Process into adult ESL classes. The Naturalization course was recently added.

Did You Know?

Focus on Basics Issue on Health Literacy

The new issue of Focus on Basics provides many articles on health literacy and partnerships between literacy and health professionals. Download the new issue of Focus on Basics, Volume 9, Issue B, "Health & Literacy Partnerships" from the right hand column of publisher World Education's home page or find the new issue and all past issues at the NCSALL site as either Web pages or a pdf document.

No Digest in January

Due to the December holidays, the next issue of the California Adult Education Digest will be February, 2009.

"Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army." .
— Edward Everett

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