News, Views, and Clues 

April,2006

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National Lifelong Literacy Campaign

small line A Unique Learning Opportunity
small line 2006 Research Symposium
small line Grant Funds Available

small line Immigration Issues
 


National Lifelong Literacy Campaign

April 6, 2006




Important Message from the Library of Congress

Dear Friend of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and promoter of literacy:

The Library of Congress is excited to announce a new campaign, with its partners, the Ad Council and the Walt Disney Co., designed to promote literacy to children and their families.

This new public service announcement campaign, which will include television, radio, and print ads, uses characters from the Disney film "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" to promote the wonder of reading and to send viewers to the Library of Congress Web site.

Here is the link to a special introduction (requires Windows Media Player):
http://www.myhomefront.tv/media/E0063/video/E0063%20Ad%20Council%20LOC-Web_medium.wmv


Starting tomorrow, the Library will launch a new "Lifelong Literacy" Web site at www.loc.gov/literacy/ , with an assortment of links to Library of Congress collections and properties that promote reading and literacy. In addition, we will be driving Web traffic and interest to your site, through your affiliation with our Center for the Book.

Furthermore, our partners at the Ad Council will be working with us to promote the initiative as a news story with national and local media. We'll be furnishing the press with the names and contacts for all of our state center affiliates and reading promotion partners. We hope you won't mind the opportunity if local newspaper, radio, and television outlets want to talk with you about the subject of literacy, and starting the love of reading from an early age. (One of our press relations contractors, Home Front, may be contacting you directly if there is sufficient press interest.)

Finally, although this week's launch is a very important start, it is just the first step in a much broader campaign to promote literacy to children and their families. In the next few months, with the participation of external literacy partners, we intend to create a much more robust online resource to encourage reading. And we'll work with the Ad Council to develop an extensive promotional effort, in addition to the "Narnia"-themed ads, to bring awareness of this issue to the general public, and to bring them to you and to the Library for help in generating a love of reading for all ages.

 

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A Unique Learning Opportunity

April 19, 2006

 

 

You will want to forward this message from Kristen to your local programs.

Oregon has been engaged in a collaborative two year Science and Math professional development initiative for our ABE/GED and ESL teachers. We are thrilled to share with other states that two Oregon adult literacy instructors were chosen to go on Teacher at Sea Expeditions to the Mariana Arc and the Antarctic with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These are amazing opportunities for the field of adult education and for our instructors, many of whom are part time.

The great news is that instructors and students from all over the country can follow these adult education teachers during their trips via a website and email, ask them questions, participate in "real time" adult education math and science lessons, and use "real time" scientific research.
 
We would like to connect programs across the country to this teaching and learning opportunity. I've attached a flyer that describes the first trip to the Mariana Arc and how teachers can connect with the research. Our second trip to the Antarctic will be happening mid-year and I will send a flyer when we get closer.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Kristen
------------------------------------------------------
Kristen Kulongoski
State Director of Adult Basic Education
Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development
255 Capitol Street NE/PSB
Salem, OR 97310
503-378-8648 ext. 375
503-378-3365 fax
kristen.kulongoski@state.or.us

 

 

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2006 Research Symposium

April 20, 2006

 

 

We are pleased that California again is taking the lead in hosting the annual Research Symposium. Those of us who attended the one in Sacramento last year were amazed at the research that was available to us. Mark your calendars. Here is the first announcement from Jean with attached information. Thank you Jean.


A Meeting of the Minds II

The California Department of Education is joining with the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy to sponsor the second National Adult Education Practitioner-Researcher Symposium to be held in Sacramento, California on November 30, December 1-2, 2006.

Attached is a flyer and additional information about the symposium.      Flyer      Info

Jean L. Scott
Administrator
Adult Education Office
1430 N Street, Suite 4503
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 323-5074
(916) 327-7089 Fax
jescott@cde.ca.gov


 

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Grant Funds Available
April 21, 2006


Good News!

At the NTI in Denver we reviewed the Local Program Directors’ Professional Development Matrix that Kathi and I developed to help you plan for sequential training for local managers. In addition to offering the sessions as professional development, we talked about the possibility of offering a local program manager’s certification.

So we teamed up with ProLiteracy and received a one year Verizon Grant to begin to develop the training series with the certification option. NAEPDC will facilitate the training and ProLiteracy will develop the certification. So we are looking for three states that are willing to pilot test the first series with 20 local directors.

Here is the announcement. More details delow.


Announcing new NAEPDC/PLA training partnership: Grant funds available

As you are thinking about your professional development system in preparation for a new state plan, have you given thought to expanding or strengthening your training options for local program managers? If so, READ ON.

Through a partnership effort of NAEPDC and ProLiteracy America, grant funds are available from the Verizon Foundation to pilot a new program improvement training series for local managers in three states. The initial pilot, which will run from July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2007, will consist of three face-to-face workshops supplemented with online courses, Webcasts, interim activities, and a culminating learning project. The three pilot states will receive all of the training and materials at no cost, in addition to $23,000 grants to provide participant incentives for 20 program managers and to pay any other costs to the state such as taskforce planning meetings.

Following the pilot year, three new modules will be released annually and made available to interested states on a fee-based schedule. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide quality training and support for your local managers. As you will see in the attachments, in the future, participants can go for certification or just participate for the training content. The certification will be option for those who want it.

 

Leadership Excellence

Academies

Connecting Local Adult Education Leaders to Ideas, Research, and Innovation

 

Overall Concept of Leadership Excellence Academies

The Vision

Within five years, you will have in place a series of professional development resources through which every local program manager 1) receives a thorough orientation to the rules, regulations, legislation, program planning, and program evaluation functions; 2) gains and documents the core skills and competencies needed to manage an adult education and literacy program in her/his service area; and

3) gains the advanced skills and competencies needed to strengthen and expand program services to meet the various needs of his/her service area.

 

It is all about program improvement! With the 1998 WIA shift from regulations to quality and performance standards, we are no longer jumping through hoops and checking off boxes required by well-meaning regulations. We are now, finally, at a point where we are charged with getting better every year at what we do. The key to getting better is the local program manager -- the leader where the rubber meets the road. Your success and the success of learners in your state are dependent on how well equipped your local program managers are.

 

Background

Like most adult educators, local program managers often have limited preparation for the complex task of managing adult education and literacy programs. Quality training opportunities to acquire these skills are sometimes rare. Because of the pivotal role that local managers play, their professional development is crucial to program improvement and the quality of service.

Over the past five years, Lennox McLendon and Kathi Polis have developed and delivered a series of management training sessions for program managers in more than twenty states. Drawing on that collection of management training resources, the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium and ProLiteracy America have joined forces to launch an exciting professional development initiative for local program managers.

Leadership Excellence Academies are based on the concept of training-over-time. The Academies allow participants to thoroughly understand, internalize, and apply leadership concepts and skills unique to adult education and literacy.

Program Design

The overall focus of this field tested professional development initiative is to establish a responsive, cost-effective leadership development program which utilizes a skills-based approach, grounded in sound theoretical leadership concepts, principles, and practices. When fully completed, the series of Academies will include individual modules covering a thorough orientation to adult education and literacy, core training on the essential skills and competencies that all managers need, and advanced training in specialty areas to strengthen and expand services and respond to unique needs.

ª1 The Academies will be built upon a foundation of research, theory, professional wisdom, and best practices.

ª2 Training will occur over time with opportunities for application through a series of interim activities and learning projects.

ª3 Technology-based delivery mediums, such as online courses, discussion boards, and Webcasts, will be combined with face-to-face workshops to expand access.

ª4 Managers will be trained by experienced coaches.

ª5 On-going personal and electronic conversations will keep managers connected to each other and to experienced leaders.

ª6 Three levels of national certification will be available for program managers who wish to pursue national credentials.

ª7 NAEPDC and PLA understand that the professional development needs of states differ. That’s why a variety of options will be available.

o Professional Development: A state can provide the complete training series without some or all of the learning projects required for certification.

o Selected Modules: A state may select specific training modules most appropriate to their needs.

o National Certification: A state can provide the complete training series with follow-up learning projects leading to national certification of their local administrators.

o Hybrid: A state may offer the series for their program managers with some of the program managers seeking national certification and others using the series for professional development only.

o State Certification: A state can provide the complete training series with follow-up learning projects leading to a state certification of their local administrators.

o Customized Training: A state may request a customization of the training series to meet state-designed certification criteria.

The Role of the State Adult Education Agency

The state adult education agency is an integral and valued partner in the design and implementation of the Leadership Excellence Academies. We understand that flexibility, cost effectiveness, and ease of access are essential in helping states meet the varied professional development needs of their local administrators.

To address state-specific needs, some modules will include supplementary or follow-up training designed and provided in collaboration with the state adult education agency. This includes modules such as Maintaining Compliance with State and Federal Procedures, Using Data to Guide Program Management and Orientation to Adult Education and Literacy.

For each of the content areas, the state will consider a number of policy decision points: building opportunities for managers to access the training, creating incentives the state can put in place to encourage participation, and documenting the application of the newly acquired skills—the fulfillment part.

One of the tenets of adult education management training involves building systems of services that can respond to the many needs of adult learners. To that end, states can model that system building by opening the training to managers from state-funded programs as well as managers from privately funded and community based organizations.

Program Elements

Leadership topics and competencies build upon the research-based PRONET Management Competencies Assessment Instrument. http://www.calpro-online.org/pubs/mgmt_comp_asst_inst_71.pdf

The academies are designed ideally as a series of three modules per year with a practicum experience between each session. The practicum includes:

o Completion of learning activities and projects - Leaders transfer the knowledge and skills gained through the training into practical application scenarios.

o Electronic Connection – Leaders post their projects to the LEA website and are able to electronically engage in an on-going dialogue with fellow participants through the LEA listserv. LEA will provide program information and support as well.

o Leadership Surveys – Participant satisfaction, growth, and development are measured using pre, interim and post leadership survey instruments and criterion-based rubrics for learning projects. These evaluations are measured over an eighteen month period of time.

o The awarding of graduate credit and continuing education units is being explored.

o LEA Certificate of Completion – Each completer of a module will receive a Certificate of Completion listing the module competencies.

Three levels of certification

o New Director Certification builds a solid foundation for recently hired local administrators; it involves completion of an online course, a face-to-face workshop, and a yearlong practicum.

o Core Certification addresses personal leadership, management, human resource, and instructional leadership issues. Core certification involves completion of eight (8) modules and accompanying learning projects; completion of the core certification requirements will require approximately 2 ½ years (based on three modules/year).

o Advanced Certification builds upon core certification and includes options in community collaboration, resource management and evaluation, professional development practices, and additional instructional leadership issues. Advanced Certification involves completion of the core certification requirements plus four additional modules and learning projects.

Academy Modules

· New Director Certification:

o Orientation to Adult Education and Literacy for Local Program Administrators

· Core Certification:

o Maintaining Compliance with State and Federal Procedures

o Providing Effective Leadership for Adult Education Services

o Program Improvement Series (three modules recommended to be provided in progression)

§ Using Self Assessments to Identify Strengths and Needs

§ Integrating Research into Program Practice: A Look at Teaching and Learning Research

§ Using Data to Guide Program Management

o Here Today…Gone Tomorrow: Strategies for Retaining and Motivating Adult Learners

o The Critical First Three Weeks of Student Enrollment: An Examination of Student Intake and Orientation Procedures

o Getting Teachers Off to the Right Start

· Advanced Certification (* A variety of additional modules are being planned.)

o Targeting Your Marketing Efforts

o Show Me the Money: Finding Alternative Funding Streams

o Maintaining and Motivating Quality Staff

o Staying Out of Court: Legal Issues of the Local Administrator

o What Local Administrators Need to Know about Special Learning Needs

o A Local Administrator’s Guide to ESL Issues

 

 

 

Leadership Excellence Academies

Connecting Local Adult Education Leaders to Ideas, Research, and Innovation

Pilot Criteria

The Pilot

This pilot project will enlist three states that wish to begin the development or expansion of a local program manager professional development system. The pilot project will operate from July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007 and will allow each state to complete the three modules in the Program Improvement Cluster: (1) Using Self Assessments to Identify Strengths and Needs,(2) Integrating Research into Program Practice: A Look at Teaching and Learning Research, and (3) Using Data to Guide Program Management.

I. What NAEPDC and ProLiteracy will provide each pilot state:

Verizon grant of $23,000 to provide:

o Incentives to encourage local administrators to participate in and complete the trainings, activities, learning project, and pilot evaluation. (Specific use and distribution of the incentive funds will be determined by the pilot states.)

o Assistance with associated costs of taskforce meeting, travel to Partners’ Orientation Meeting, etc.

Facilitation of the Partners’ Orientation Meeting (representatives from the three pilot state offices) to provide guidance and technical assistance on pilot implementation.

Free consultation with the project’s Technical Assistance team to assist in planning the state’s pilot project and overall professional development system for local managers.

Three face-to-face workshops with training provided by nationally-known experts in the field of adult education.

Free field-tested training modules, materials, and resources.

Free access to online courses and Webcasts for the Program Improvement series.

Technical assistance and support throughout the pilot period via telephone and email correspondence.

Electronic portfolios for participants to maintain project activities and learning projects.

Review of submitted activities and learning projects to determine eligibility for future certification.

II. What the State will provide:

In order for this initiative to be successful, the state director needs to commit to supporting the multi-year process of building a local program manager leadership series. That commitment includes:

Participating in the LEA Partners’ Orientation Meeting to be held in July, 2006. States are also encouraged to bring their professional development coordinator and a local director, if possible.

Enabling a taskforce comprised of local and state instructional and management representatives to:

o provide the vision and energy for creating a successful leadership series,

o provide continuity to the multi-year process,

o recommend the structure that will enable the Academies to be successful,

o recommend appropriate incentives for program managers to participate beyond the pilot period,

o recommend options for building capacity to provide ongoing Academy training in future years (i.e., train-the trainer, contracted services),

o develop a more substantive marketing plan to promote the professional development training on a larger scale after the pilot period, and

o regularly analyze evaluation data and recommend means to improve the services.

Designating appropriate staff to work with the LEA technical assistance team to develop and help deliver the state-specific component of Using Data to Guide Program Management.

Recruiting 20 program managers who are committed to professional growth and willing to complete interim activities, a learning project, and training evaluations (estimated total of 60 hours over the course of the program year).

o Face-to-face workshops (3 6-hour workshops) – 18 hours

o Two one-hour online courses – 2 hours

o Three one-hour Webcasts – 3 hours

o Completion of interim activities – 18 hours

o Completion of culminating project – 19 hours

Supporting the training process by finding and covering the costs of a training venue or venues, arranging for appropriate training technologies, and distributing necessary resources.

Collecting data from participants to evaluate the short- and long-term effect of the training.

Providing funds to support training development and delivery costs in Year Two – PY 2007-2008 (estimated at $10,000) for the piloting of three new modules.

Ensuring access to computers with high-speed Internet access for program managers’ participation in Webcasts.

III. Anticipated Timeline:

Date

Activity

May 15, 2006 LEA pilot application deadline
May 30, 2006 Selection of pilot states
July, 2006 (exact date and location to be determined) Partners’ Orientation Meeting
Module 1: Using Self Assessments to Identify Strengths and Needs Module 2: Integrating Research into Program Practice – A Look at Teaching and Learning Research Module 3: Using Data to Guide Program Management
September – November, 2006 December, 2006 – Feb., 2007 March – April, 2007

·1 Participants complete one-hour Training Orientation and Introduction to Program Improvement for Local Administrators online course

·2 Module 1: Using Self Assessments to Identify Strengths and Needs face-to-face six-hour workshop

·3 Interim activity: Local manager (1) engages staff in customizing one selected self assessment and posts assessment to electronic portfolio and (2) conducts self assessment, responds to Program Improvement Decision Points, and posts results to electronic portfolio.

·4 Local manager participates in follow up Webcast to discuss experiences and gain feedback

·5 Module 2: Integrating Research into Program Practice: A Look at Teaching and Learning Researchface-to-face six-hour workshop

·6 Interim activity: Local manager engages staff (1) in completing an online survey to identify research-based needs and (2) in using survey results to identify priorities, review relevant research, and complete visioning activity.

·7 Local manager responds to Program Improvement Decision Points, posts responses to electronic portfolio, and participates in follow up Webcast to discuss experiences and gain feedback.

·8 Module 3: One-hour online courseIntroduction to Using Data to Guide Program Management

·9 Module 3: Using Data to Guide Program Management – face-to-face six-hour workshop (During the workshop, local managers analyze their own NRS program data, identify a need, and respond to Program Improvement Decision Points.

Date Activity
May, 2007 Final Project Webcast to assist local managers in planning their culminating learning project in which they develop a program improvement plan based on one or more of the identified needs (through self-assessment, research, or data analysis) and then pilot test it in their program. Local managers will post the developed plan and results in their electronic portfolios by December, 2007.

QUESTIONS? Contact Kathi Polis at polis123@adelphia.net or 304.550.3447.

 

Leadership Excellence Academies

Pilot Project Application

Application Deadline: May 15, 2006

State:

State Director’s Name:

Address:

City/State/Zip:

Telephone:

Email:

Briefly explain the reason/s why you are interested in participating in the Leadership Excellence Academies Pilot Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe the process and criteria you will use in selecting 20 program managers who are committed to professional growth and willing to commit approximately 60 hours to participation in the Academy trainings, interim activities, learning project, and evaluation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your long-term vision for professional development of program managers in your state?

 

 

 

 

 

Are you willing to commit to the following criteria?

Participating in the LEA Partners’ Orientation Meeting to be held in July, 2006. States are also encouraged to bring their professional development coordinator and a local director, if possible.

Enabling a taskforce comprised of local and state instructional and management representatives to:

o provide the vision and energy for creating a successful leadership series,

o provide continuity to the multi-year process,

o recommend the structure that will enable the Academies to be successful,

o identify appropriate incentives for program managers to participate beyond the pilot period,

o determine options for building capacity to provide ongoing Academy training in future years (i.e., train-the trainer, contracted services),

o develop a more substantive marketing plan to promote the professional development training on a larger scale after the pilot period, and

o regularly analyze evaluation data and recommend means to improve the services.

Designating appropriate staff to work with the LEA technical assistance team to develop and help deliver the state-specific component of Using Data to Guide Program Management.

Recruiting 20 program managers who are committed to professional growth and willing to complete interim activities, a learning project, and training evaluations (estimated total of 60 hours over the course of the program year).

o Face-to-face workshops (3 6-hour workshops) – 18 hours

o Two one-hour online courses – 2 hours

o Three one-hour Webcasts – 3 hours

o Completion of interim activities – 18 hours

o Completion of culminating project – 19 hours

Supporting the training process by finding and covering the costs of a training venue or venues, arranging for appropriate training technologies, and distributing necessary resources.

Collecting data from participants to evaluate the short- and long-term effect of the training.

Providing funds to support training development and delivery costs in Year Two – PY 2007-2008 (estimated at $10,000) for the piloting of three new modules.

Ensuring access to computers with high-speed Internet access for program managers’ participation in Webcasts.

Yes No

 

Any additional comments you would like to add.

 

__________________________________________ __________________

Signature of State Director Date

Application Deadline: May 15, 2006 (Fax, Email, or Mail)

Fax: 202-624-1497 Email: lmclendon@naepdc.org

Dr. Lennox McLendon, Executive Director

National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium

444 North Capitol Street, NW Suite 422

Washington, DC 20001

 

 

 


 

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Immigration Issues

April 24, 2006

 



Lynn found this excellent article in the Post that illustrates many of the economic and political issues related to immigration. This article is worth a read.

Lynn Reports: “Here is another article on immigration you may find of interest. For example, it states that about a third of adult immigrants don't have a high school diploma. At another point in the article, it mentions that the proportion of the adult labor force, including immigrants, without high school diplomas has dropped to just 10 percent.”



Effect of Immigration on Jobs, Wages Is Difficult for Economists to Nail Down

By Nell Henderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 15, 2006; Page D01

According to the economic models, it's a no-brainer: a surge of low-skilled immigrants should increase the supply of such workers, driving down wages at the expense of working-class Americans.

Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), explaining why he opposes legislation to allow more legal immigration, said recently: "I don't think you need a professor to understand that when you import substantial cheap labor, it displaces American workers."

But recent research suggests that the economic impact of immigration is not so simple. The effects are difficult to disentangle from other factors that have dampened wage growth for most workers in recent decades, including new technologies, the decline in manufacturing jobs, the drop in unionization, globalization and recessions.

Yes, an influx of immigrants has helped depress the incomes of the lowest-skilled workers in recent decades, many economists agree. But they argue about the magnitude of the effect; some say it's big while others see it as slight.

Meanwhile, increased immigration -- legal and illegal -- helps keep inflation low, boosts rents and housing values, and benefits the average U.S. taxpayer while burdening some state and local governments, other research finds.

"Immigration provides overall economic gains to a country," wrote economist Albert Saiz, summarizing the literature in a 2003 article for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. "Indeed, the U.S. experience as an immigrants' country is one of phenomenal economic growth. However, there are winners and losers in the short run."

The primary losers in this country are workers who do not have high school diplomas, particularly blacks and native-born Hispanics, according to George J. Borjas, a Harvard University economist who has studied immigration for years.

From 1980 through 2000, immigration reduced average wages for the nation's 10 million native-born men without high school educations by 7.4 percent, Borjas wrote in 2004. They earned an average of $25,000 a year in 2000.

Other economists contend that the effect is much smaller -- a wage reduction of close to 1 percent -- and has dissipated as Americans have become better educated. The proportion of the adult labor force, including immigrants, without high-school diplomas has dropped to just 10 percent.

The proportion of immigrants in the U.S. adult urban population nearly doubled from 1980 to 2000, from 9.5 percent to 18 percent, according to census figures cited by David Card, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, in a paper presented at a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia conference last year. The Washington area mimicked the national trend, with the immigrants' proportion growing from 9.6 percent to 20.6 percent during those two decades.

And immigrants are, on average, less schooled than native-born Americans. Looking at census data from hundreds of the nation's urban areas where immigrants cluster, Card found that in both 1980 and 2000, more than a third of adult immigrants did not have high school diplomas. But the proportion of working-age natives at that education level fell from 23 percent to 13 percent from 1980 to 2000, "more than offsetting the inflow of less-educated immigrants."

The wage gap between high school graduates and dropouts stayed relatively constant from 1979 to 2000, with the graduates earning 25 to 30 percent more, Card wrote.

The "evidence that immigrants harm native opportunities is scant," he concluded, observing "a surprisingly weak relationship between immigration and less-skilled wages."

Immigration also has made up for population losses in some parts of the country. In New England and the Mid-Atlantic, the labor force would have declined from 1990 to 2000 without immigration, according to a report released in February by Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies.

Other economic trends have had much more impact on wages, analysts say. Perhaps the biggest is the general health of the economy.

During the 1990s, the surge in immigration coincided with an economic boom driven in large part by investment in new technology and rising stock prices. Unemployment fell below 4 percent in 2000, for the first time in three decades, and wages rose for workers at all skill levels.

Since 2000, increasing immigration has coincided with the 2001 recession, an initially weak recovery and a period of lackluster wage growth for most workers.

In the 1990s, "you saw all boats being lifted, whether foreign-born or native," said Jared Bernstein, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

The recent downturn also coincided with a steep loss of manufacturing jobs -- more than 2.7 million shed from the start of the recession in March 2001 through last month, accelerating a trend that began in 1979, according to Labor Department figures.

The quarter-century decline in manufacturing jobs, which often paid middle-class wages and benefits, is one factor that has contributed to the fall during that period in average hourly earnings, adjusted for inflation, economists say.

Those losses were part of the long-term evolution of an industrial-based economy into one based more on services and information. Those jobs have been lost to international competition or erased by new technologies that have boosted overall worker productivity.

The shrinking of the manufacturing sector has also corresponded to a drop in union membership to 13 percent of the workforce currently from 24 percent in 1979, weakening labor's power to bargain for better wages.

"An extra million immigrants a year cannot possibly explain why the vast majority of workers in a labor market of 150 million workers have had stagnant wage growth," said Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University. "All these other factors matter more."

To the extent that cheap low-skilled labor helps hold down prices, there is more demand for some services, fostering economic growth. Lower menu prices encourage consumers to dine out more, leading to the opening of more restaurants. Lower construction costs make home-building more profitable and home remodeling more affordable.

Low-wage immigrant labor generally has helped keep inflation low in recent years, for items other than energy and housing, economists say.

The nation's 34 million immigrants also collectively pay more in taxes than they consume in public services and benefits, according to a National Research Council study. A high proportion of them work and pay federal, state and local taxes. Many return to their home countries before retirement and never claim Social Security payments or Medicare coverage.

But the effects vary locally. In states such as New Jersey and California, with high proportions of immigrants and relatively generous social services, immigrants pay less in taxes than they use in government services such as public schools, the NRC study found.

Such burdens "cannot be ignored," Saiz wrote, "although which mix of distributive or immigration policies is better for dealing with them is a matter of opinion."


 

 

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