February 1, 2010
Digest No. 21


Strategic Planning

California Selected for Transition Policy Grant
California is one of eight states selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education initiative, Policy to Performance: Transitioning Adults to Opportunities. The project will kick off with a webinar for participating states in February. Read more.

California Strategic Planning Update
The Strategic Planning Web site has been updated with notes on recent meetings and discussions.

Workforce Skills Certification Pilot

CASAS Supports Transitions to the Workforce
The CASAS Workforce Skills Certification System (WSCS) provides a comprehensive set of tools to measure workforce readiness skills. Launching on January 14, 2010, the WSCS  pilot is part of the California Department of Education's ABE Initiative. The goal of the pilot is to promote transition of adult ABE and ASE students into the workforce. Pilot sites will be assessing each learner's soft skills — using the Learning Resources, Inc. (LRI) online soft skills assessment — and academic skills using CASAS eTests. TOPSpro will be able to generate a WSCS Profile which documents in positive terms the academic and soft skills each learner demonstrates. Pilot sites are working to incorporate and strengthen soft skills training into their vocationally focused ABE curriculum. The pilot will run through the remainder of the 2009–2010 program year. For more information, contact CASAS.


TOPSpro® Live Update Release
CASAS has released a new TOPSpro® Live Update. Via the internet, you can activate the update by opening your TOPSpro application and going to: Help > Check for Updates > TOPS 5.0.74 SP6 2010 Patch (01.12.10). If you do not have internet access on your TOPSpro machine, please contact CASAS Tech Support at 800.255.1036 X4.


Patrick Ainsworth

Patrick Ainsworth Receives CAEAA Visionary Leadership Award
Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, Director of the Secondary, Postsecondary, and Adult Leadership Division of the California Department of Education, received the CAEAA award for Visionary Leadership at the CAEAA conference in San Francisco. He has broad experience with Career and Technical Education, and is currently the Superintendent's Designee on the California Workforce Investment Board and other key groups. Read more.


CAEAA Awards go to Dedicated Adult Education Professionals
CAEAA Awards went to Susan Handy, Principal of Bakersfield Adult School; Sharon Brannon, administrator at the Montebello Adult School, retired; Rocky Bettar, Principal of Rowland Adult School; and Ed Morris, Assistant Superintendent over the Division of Adult and Career Education in the Los Angeles Unified School District.Read more.


Professional Development

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Administrators Forum on Integrating ESL and Job Skills Feb. 18
Are you interested in a new instructional model that supports ESL students who are preparing to work as caregivers? The adult education program at San Diego Community College District has created a VESL course for Personal Care Assistants/Caregivers, with an ESL teacher and a Registered Nurse in the same classroom. Register for this webinar on 2/18 to hear about the program and results to date.


Support for Multilevel ESL Teachers
The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) is pleased to announce two new resources for multilevel ESL teachers: the Virtual Workroom for Multilevel ESL Instructors and the companion electronic Professional Learning Community (e-PLC). Housed on CALPRO's Web site, the Virtual Workroom  is open to all. It features a wide range of research-based professional development resources addressing five key challenges of multilevel ESL instruction: needs assessment, lesson planning, group work, materials, and evaluation. Membership to the related e-PLC is open to all adult literacy providers working in programs funded by WIA Title II federal grants or California state apportionment. This Professional Learning Community brings together multilevel ESL teachers from across California to network with each other, follow and respond to a subject-expert's blog, exchange materials and teaching tips, get support from mentors, and more!  For more information, visit CALPRO's Web site.


Study Circle Facilitator Training
The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) is pleased to offer its Study Circle Facilitation Training, available for the first time online. The March online training is open to adult educators from California adult schools and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II-funded programs. Applicants may choose from two popular study circle topics – learner persistence or reading instruction. The application deadline is Feb. 5, 2010. The invitation letter and application is available here. For general information about study circles, visit the the Study Circles page on CALPRO's Web site.


CASAS Professional Development for Assessment & Accountability — Spring 2010
CASAS is offering a wide variety of Professional Development Workshops in Spring 2010 — some via Web conferencing and others that employ a new self-paced format. Web conferencing workshop topics include CASAS Assessment, Accountability, and TOPSpro®. The first sessions start Wednesday, January 20th. Self-paced courses — including topics in CASAS Implementation, Appraisals, Lesson Planning, and CASAS eTests® — will be available for registration and participation starting Monday February 1st. All workshops are accessible via California Adult Ed Online Registration (filter on Sponsor: CASAS). They are appropriate for Workforce Investment Act Title II, Sections 225/231; EL Civics funded agencies in California, and for National External Diploma Program agencies.


February and March 2010 Online Courses
Registration for four facilitated online courses is now available. Subject-area experts will facilitate professional development classes on Designing Programs for Adults with Learning Disabilities, Effective Lesson Planning, Managing the ESL Multilevel Class, and Optimizing ESL Instructional Planning. Additionally, educators may elect to take a class on their own, such as CALPRO's newest self-directed online course on Learner Goal Setting in Adult Education Programs. For registration and additional information, visit the CALPRO Online Courses Web page.


Online Workshops in February
OTAN’s webinar "Teaching Students Effective Online Search Strategies" will help refine and focus searches to get exactly what you are seeking. Stop getting overwhelmed with millions of search results! Also, learn the basics of creating, editing and managing your own wiki site in the webinar "Getting Started with Your Own Wiki Web Site."  Use it to deliver instruction, promote your school, display student work or manage collaborative projects. Register for these webinars on the California Adult Education Professional Development calendar.

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CASAS Celebrates 30 Years
CASAS is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this June during the National Summer Institute. CASAS was established under the auspices of CDE in 1980 to develop and implement an assessment system that aligned the assessment with the curriculum and instruction. An initial consortium of 45 agencies across California worked together to identify a common core of competencies and develop and validate assessments linked to the competencies across all levels of ABE, ESL and ASE. These competencies, content standards and assessments have been systematically updated over the past 30 years, most recently with the Life and Work Assessments that are aligned with the ESL and ABE Content Standards. CASAS has grown into a national organization serving more than three million students across the U.S. and abroad.


Did you know…

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Your Students Can Create Animations and Cartoons
Read an article on OTAN about free Web sites for creating animations and cartoons, with student examples.


"For every complicated problem there is an answer that is short, simple and wrong."
— H. L. Mencken

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