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News, Views, and Clues 

September, 2005

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Two Reports, September 30, 2005
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Prep for Denver-Special Learning Needs Session, September 29, 2005
small lineProLiteracy Conference, September 27, 2005

small line Website Excellence Awards, September 19, 2005
small line EFF Survey and December Institute, September 16, 2005


Two Reports
September 30, 2005

I realize we teach adults but from time to time it is informative to look at the public schools to see what is happening there.  Here are two reports from the Public Education Network that I thought might be of interest.

Public Education Network Weekly NewsBlast
"Public Involvement. Public Education. Public Benefit."
After analyzing National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test data from 25 states, three prominent education researchers have determined that there is no consistent link between the pressure to score high on a state-mandated exam and that state's student performance on the NAEP.
Sharon L. Nichols, the study's lead author, concluded: "A rapidly growing body of research evidence on the harmful effects of high-stakes testing, along with no reliable evidence of improved performance by students on NAEP tests of achievement, suggests that we need a moratorium in public education on the use of high-stakes testing."

Over the last decade, black and Hispanic students in Wake County (NC) have made such dramatic strides in standardized reading and math tests that it has caught the attention of education experts around the country. The main reason for the students' dramatic improvement, say officials and parents in the county, which includes Raleigh and its sprawling suburbs, is that the district has made a concerted effort to integrate the schools economically.  Since 2000, school officials have used income as a prime factor in assigning students to schools, with the goal of limiting the proportion of low-income students in any school to no more than 40 percent. The effort is the most ambitious in the country to create economically diverse public schools, and it is the most successful, according to several independent experts. In Wake County, only 40 percent of black students in grades three through eight scored at grade level on state tests a decade ago. Last spring, 80 percent did. Hispanic students have made similar strides. Overall, 91 percent of students in those grades scored at grade level in the spring, up from 79 percent 10 years ago. Some experts said the academic results in Wake County were particularly significant because they bolstered research that showed low-income students did best when they attended middle-class schools. Some parents chafe at the length of their children's bus rides or at what they see as social engineering, writes Alan Finder. But the test results are hard to
dispute, proponents of economic integration say, as is the broad appeal of the school district, which has been growing by 5,000 students a year.

Keep up the good work.  Let me know when we can help. 

Prep for Denver-Special Learning Needs
September 29, 2005

One of the in-depth sessions at the NTI in Denver will provide you policy, partnership, professional development, and practice options for adults with special learning needs--LD, MR/DD, physical (e.g., vision, hearing), and mental health/substance abuse.

Below is a description of those sessions.  

Attached is the matrix that will be filled in with resources and housed on our website for future reference.

In preparation for this session,
1.  Take a few minutes to read the description and with your state staff or state leadership reflect on your policy, partnerships, PD, and practice focusing on where you are and where you need to go regarding students with special learning needs.
2.  If you have resources in any of these areas, send them to me at for inclusion in our matrix.

Adults with Special Learning Needs
Co-Hosted by NAASLN
National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs

How many of our adult learners have special learning needs, and not just learning disabilities, but mental retardation and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities (e.g., vision and hearing), and mental health and substance abuse issues?  How does a state develop policy to support local programs responding to these special learning needs?  What organizations or agencies have expertise in each of these areas and how can we partner with them?  Who has developed professional development resources we can use to prepare teachers and program mangers to respond to these needs?  What are the best practices for serving these needs?

In Part I, Laura Weisel and Richard Cooper provide the background information we need related to these special learning needs.  They also will report on the current research and propose where other research is needed.  Lastly, we will learn what the laws require us to do.

Part II on Saturday morning will be a series of four small-group colleague sessions for you to hear how some of your colleagues have tackled the four areas:  Policy Development, Partnerships, Professional Development, and Best Practices.  You can select the sessions in light of 1) your stage of development and 2) where you want to go next.

Keep up the good work.  Let me know when we can help. 


ProLiteracy Conference
September 27, 2005

The ProLiteracy Worldwide annual conference for adult literacy practitioners and students will be held this year from Oct. 26-29 in Tucson, AZ at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa.  The conference will offer a wide variety of workshops in the areas of: ESL, Linking Research to Practice, Promoting Literacy Awareness and Advocacy, Students, Innovative Practices in Literacy and Adult Education, and Program Improvement and Accountability. Keynote speakers include Bill Daggett, Jimmy Baca Santiago, and Michael Kroth.  For more information and to register, visit:

Web Site Excellence Awards
September 19, 2005

Web sites are so important for providing access to resources for teachers and program mangers.

NAEPDC would like to recognize the hard work that many states have been undertaking in the development and expansion of their State Adult Education websites. We plan on doing this at the National Training Institute on November 9 - 12, 2005, in Denver, Colorado.

If you have found a state’s web site to be helpful, or if you want to acknowledge your own state’s website, here is your chance to make a nomination for recognition.  To be eligible for the recognition, you need to submit the attached nomination form no later than October 10, 2005, to Kathi Polis at  

Websites will be judged by a panel of web developers familiar with adult education who will examine layout and design (25 points), functionality (25 points), and content (50 points).  Three categories of awards will be presented:  Gold Star (91 - 100%), Silver Star (80 - 90%), and Bronze Star (70 - 89%).

The website criteria are attached for your review.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kathi at 540.710.6487 or

This is your opportunity to earn some well-deserved recognition so please submit your state’s nomination form today!  

Keep up the good work.  Let me know when we can help. 

EFF Survey and December Institute
September 16, 2005

You Talked…We Listened!

If you ask anyone associated with the EFF Center for Training and Technical Assistance what they’ve been doing the past year, you’re likely to hear a common response - we’ve been listening!  That’s right, we’ve been listening to you and all of our customers to find out how we can best focus our efforts to better meet your needs.

Since EFF was first initiated in 1994, more than 30 states and programs have benefited from our work.  We have new and ongoing state initiatives in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, DC, and Maine.   We have new initiatives planned or in process with many local providers as well -  in New York, Michigan, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, DC, Virginia and Texas. During the past 11 years, we have learned a lot along the way.  We have listened to your concerns and your recommendations.


EFF was too confusing --  too overwhelming, particularly for part-time teachers

Teachers needed more guidance and user-friendly products to implement EFF in the classroom

You wanted curriculum frameworks that more clearly illustrated the skills that teachers should be teaching in the context of EFF content standards

EFF needed to be aligned with NRS-approved assessments

EFF needed some products that would directly link to business and industry.

You talked, and we listened.  We listened, we adapted, we revised, and we created.  Now, we would like to share our results with you!




Contact us: Dr. Lennox McLendon, Executive Director; 444 North Capitol Street, NW; Suite 422; Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-624-5250; Fax: 202-624-1497; Email:

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