News, Views, and Clues 

June, 2006

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NCES Adult Ed Report, 04-05

small line TANF Transitional Jobs
small line Colleague Question - Confidentiality Policies
small line Free Reading Source - A "Must Have"

small line State Director Job Opening

small line Colleague Question - AE and Skills Training Models

small line How do you teach reading?


NCES Adult Ed Report 04 -05

June 5, 2006

Title: Adult Education Participation in 2004-05

Description: This descriptive report presents selected data on adults participation in adult educational activities in the United States, excluding full-time college/university or vocational/technical credential programs, over a 12-month period from 2004-05. These data are from the Adult Education Survey of the 2005 National Household Education Surveys Program. Interviews for the survey were conducted with a nationally representative sample adults. A wide range of statistics is included in the report. For example, 44 percent of adults reported having participated in formal adult educational activities (excluding full-time college programs) in this time period.

Online Availability: Download, view and print the report as a pdf file. (699KB)


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TANF Transitional Jobs

June 5, 2006


TANF Transitional Jobs


Here is a brief on a report from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP, about the option of “transitional jobs” for TANF clients.  This option may help many of your students make the transition.

Transitional Jobs: Helping TANF Recipients with Barriers to Employment Succeed in the Labor Market

By Allegra Baider and Abbey Frank. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provisions in the fiscal year 2006 federal budget bill will require most states to substantially increase the number of TANF recipients participating in work-related activities. Many of the families who continue to receive cash assistance under TANF have significant barriers to employment; thus, it is essential that state strategies to increase participation address the needs and circumstances of these families. This paper highlights transitional jobs, a promising strategy that can help TANF recipients with barriers succeed in the labor market while simultaneously helping states meet higher participation rates by engaging more participants in work activities.


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Colleague Question - Confidentiality Policies
June 7, 2006

Colleague Question-Confidentiality Policies

Denies Pottmeyer (OH) ( needs your help.


“I am revising our policy on confidentiality (this will be all-encompassing policy and will include policies concerning data security, information and data-match sharing, release of information requirements, FERPA and state regulations, proper disposal of old secured-information, etc.). Do you know where I can get some good examples from other states?”

If you have examples of any or all of these areas, please send responses to

Thanks for your help.


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Free Reading Source - A "Must Have"

June 8, 2006


Free Reading Resource--A "Must Have"

Did you know that five students with similar scores on the TABE reading test can have vastly different skill proficiencies on:
• word recognition,
• spelling,
• word meaning (vocabulary),
• silent reading comprehension, and
• oral reading rate.

In short, teachers need more information to plan meaningful instruction.

Below is an announcement of a valuable, free resource developed by NIFL and NCSALL that every adult basic education teacher should have in her/his arsenal.

The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) announce the "Adult Reading Components Study (ARCS) Panel," a 30-minute video on NCSALL's ARCS research produced by the Institute. This video is available in streaming format and can be viewed by going to:

ARCS was the first large-scale attempt to use a battery of individually administered reading and language tests to describe the reading of students enrolled in adult basic education (ABE) and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) programs. Nearly 1,000 adult learners from 30 learning centers in seven states were assessed in order to develop instructionally relevant cluster profiles of adult readers.

The video offers a panel discussion about NCSALL's ARCS research and ways in which programs can use the Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles, an on-line assessment tool based on the ARCS research, to assess students and plan instruction tailored to their specific profiles. Panel participants are:

Dr. John Strucker - Researcher and ARCS Director, NCSALL
Dr. Rosalind Davidson - Researcher and ARCS Assistant Director, NCSALL
Kay Vaccaro - Program Assistant, Harris County, TX Department of
Education, Adult Education Division
Jane Meyer - Coordinator, ABLE-funded adult literacy project, Canton,
David J. Rosen (moderator) - Senior Associate, Newsome Associates,
Boston, MA

To visit the Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles ARCS Web site, please go to: profiles/

To learn more about the ARCS, please see NCSALL's "Seminar Guide -
Reading Profiles" available from the CPPR section of the NCSALL Web site.

A NCSALL study circle guide on reading research and teaching materials on reading are available from the Publications section of the NCSALL Web site:

The ARCS video panel introduction is also available free on DVD:
Order from NCSALL at for $5.00/copy (shipping and handling), or send your request to NIFL at, and be sure to include your mailing address.

The ARCS video is the first in a series of videos based on NCSALL research that are being produced by the National Institute for Literacy. As each video is completed, streaming versions will be posted to the Web, with accompanying announcements on the Institute's listservs and web sites and NCSALL's Web site. Once the entire series is completed, all of the videos will be packaged in a single DVD, which the Institute and NCSALL will make available to the field. The National Institute for Literacy and NCSALL present these videos as introductions to key research topics in adult learning and literacy. We hope the field finds them useful as professional and program development tools.

If you have any questions, please write to

Caye Caplan
Coordinator of NCSALL Dissemination
World Education
44 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210-1211
Tel: (617) 482-9485
Fax: (617) 482-0617



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State Director Job Opening

June 9, 2006

Becky Bird, the soon-to-be former Montana State Director, asked that we publish the announcement of her soon-to-be former job for anyone who wants to live in paradise.

The Montana web site is if you want to see what paradise looks like.


Office of Public Instruction

PO Box 202501, Helena MT 59620-2501

Personnel Office, 1227 11th Avenue, Helena, (406) 444-2673

Internal/External Job Vacancy Announcement


TITLE:  Adult Basic and Literacy Education State Director

Pay Band:  6

STATUS: Permanent/Full-Time

SALARY:  $36, 618/yr Entry - $45,772/yr Market, plus benefits

CLOSING DATE:  June 19, 2006



POSITION NO:  351-00023

DEPARTMENT: Education Services

DIVISION:  Career, Technical and Adult Education

LOCATIONOffice of Public Instruction – Helena, MT


START DATE: Negotiable


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *  *   *   *   *

APPLICANTS:  An electronic copy of the State of Montana Employment Application may be obtained from


PLEASE POST: The Office of Public Instruction is recruiting for a State Director for Adult Basic and Literacy Education. Applicants may apply by completing a state application form. If accommodation for a disability is needed during the application or examination process, contact the recruiter identified or OPI Personnel Office. 


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES: This position exercises leadership and general supervision under applicable laws, rules and regulations in the area of Adult Basic and Literacy Education to the education communities, agencies and citizens of Montana within broad guidance and direction established by the Office of Public Instruction. These services include technical assistance of both a general and a specific nature which relies upon knowledge of effective schools research, successful instructional designs and classroom implementation, innovative curriculum and assessment development, national standards and assessment processes, and the appropriate integration of technology into all disciplines. The specialist is responsible for conducting professional development training for teachers and program directors and site monitors in ABLE programs. This position is also responsible for managing federal and state grants, managing compliance requirements to local education agencies, facilitating program improvement, providing assistance in the development and integration of technology, welfare-to-work and standards development.


GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS: Must have demonstrated abilities and knowledge of current educational practices related to adult basic education, adult literacy, ESL, family literacy and workforce development. Must have demonstrated knowledge of current and appropriate educational technologies. Must also have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a diverse group of professionals and the ability to communicate effectively with others using verbal and written skills. This position also requires a working knowledge of applicable state and federal laws and regulations relative to public education and adult basic education. Must also have the ability to access, retrieve, evaluate, and disseminate information and databases using electronic programs and networks.


EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: Ideally the qualifications for this position will have been gained from a combination of formal education (Masters Degree preferred), practical work and/or administrative experience in adult education. The knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the duties of this position can be acquired through secondary education, post secondary education, and/or experience in an administrative or teaching position in adult education.


APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS: Procedures to be used in evaluating an applicant’s qualifications may include, but are not limited to, the Montana state application form, the application supplement, a structured oral interview and reference checks.


All applicants must submit a completed and signed State of Montana application form. All applicants claiming veteran’s preference must submit certification at the time of the oral interview.


The Office of Public Instruction is an equal opportunity employer. Inquiries about this position may be made to the Personnel Office of the Office of Public Instruction at (406) 444-2673.



Please answer the following supplemental questions. This supplement gives you an opportunity to present more complete and specific details regarding your qualifications for this position. Responses should be clear and concise and specifically address each supplemental question. Please type and number your responses for each of the four questions. Do not substitute a resume or any other material for your responses. The combination of information on the employment application and this supplement will be used to evaluate how each applicant meets the requirements for this position and who will be interviewed. Your written communication skills will also be appraised. Your responses to these questions will be evaluated on their own merit, without referring to the rest of your application. If the supplemental questions ask about your experience, please provide the information requested even if it duplicates what you've provided in your application. 


1.      Describe your experiences in education/administration and working with students, faculty, administrators and others in adult basic education, adult literacy, family literacy and workforce development.


2.      Explain why your experiences, interests, and expertise are a good match for this position.


3.      Developing positive work relationships, both internal and external to the professional work setting, is often critical for success.  Please describe your experience building such relationships and how these relationships have contributed to your professional success.



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Colleague Question - AE and Skills Training Models

June 16, 2006



Colleague Question: AE and Skills Training Models

Please send responses to Johan Uvin (RI) at


CQ: What models or promising/innovative practices are in place in your state that integrate/link adult education with skills training/workforce development?

We are conducting various research projects to support the development of future policies and programs. One is focused on the link between adult education and the world of work.

Any identification of local or statewide innovative practices that directors or staff have gotten excited about and some contact info would be greatly appreciated. The linking/integration can cover all kinds of dimensions (design, curriculum, staffing, funding, etc.).

Mr. Johan Uvin
Director of Adult Education
Department of Education
255 Westminster Street
Shephard Building
Providence, RI 02903-3414
Phone: (401) 222-4656
Fax: (401) 222-8950
Web site:

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How do you teach reading?

June 22, 2006


How do you teach reading?

How important is it that your ABE teachers and tutors know how to teach reading?

What if your teachers and tutors could assess their knowledge about how to teach reading and plan their professional development based on that assessment?

If you will help us field test that assessment, it will be yours free at the end of the year.

The assessment, ARIK-A (Assessment of Reading Instruction Knowledge for Adults) is the first instrument designed to measure teachers’ knowledge of providing research-based reading instruction, AND it will be in two forms so it can be used in many different ways, like a pre/post assessment.

The ARIK-A will be standardized for ABE and ASE teachers. That’s where we need your help - recruiting teachers to take the field test version for standardization. We need a representative group of teachers in your state (from about 5 to 10 programs).

Besides the fact that the field really needs resources specifically for teachers of adults, NIFL is offering you, and the program managers who assist, the Adult Reading Resource Kit. The Kit will include 10 copies of the ARIK-A standardized assessment and manual, an inventory for assessing professional development (the PDQ), and numerous new resources on providing reading instruction to adults. In addition, the states and programs that help recruit teachers will be recognized in the manual.

We need teachers for the field test from July 1 - August 31, 2006.

REQUEST: If you are willing to help, please contact Mary Ziegler, at the University of Tennessee, or send her the name of a person to contact in your state.

Contact Information for Mary Ziegler - University of Tennessee
Email  Telephone: 865-974-0453