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News, Views, and Clues

February, 2004

small line Opportunity to Share - The Heartland Gateway - A note from Denise, February 27, 2004
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Content Standards Lit Review-- Virginia, February 27, 2004
small line Partnership Search, February 26, 2004
small line Financial Literacy/ESL Ideas, February 8, 2004
small line ABE-to-College Transition, February 17, 2004
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Teacher Collaboration: You Can’t Have Program Improvement Without It, February 9, 2004 
small lineCOABE Update, February 2, 2004

 Opportunity to Share - The Heartland Gateway-A Note from Denise
February 27, 2004

“Do you remember the Northwest Passage at last year’s State Directors’ Meeting in Portland?  For those of you who were not there, a separate room, with tables specific to each of the regions, was reserved for State Directors/Staff to bring products, videos, etc. to share.  Products included: 

  • ABE and ESOL standards
  • Final reports
  • Marketing materials
  • Videos on various topics
  • Policy and guidance documents
  • Lots of good “stuff”!

This year, we have the opportunity through the Heartland Gateway to see the fruits of your labor.  All states have something to share, and many of you will have a hard time deciding which items to bring – bring all of it! 

When I receive information from the DAEL conference planners, I will forward directions for those who might want to ship your resources.  Based on last year’s event, you may want to bring extra luggage or plan to mail your goodies home. 

I look forward to seeing you in Columbus!

Denise Pottmeyer

Ohio Department of Education

25 S. Front Street, Mail Stop 614

Columbus, Ohio 43215

Phone (614) 466-5015

Fax (614) 728-8470”  

Content Standards Lit Review--Virginia

February 27, 2004

A number of you are pondering content standards.  Yvonne Thayer (VA) and the Virginia folks recently posted their review of the literature that could benefit discussions in your state.  A description of the report is below.  Note the appendix that includes a matrix of state standards with links to those web sites. 

The URL for the Virginia report is: 

The overview: 

“In 2003, Dr. Roberta McKnight, of the Virginia Literacy Institute, conducted a thorough review of the literature to prepare a comprehensive report regarding the development of content standards. The report summarizes current developments across the United States, discusses issues related to content standards, and provides an interactive matrix of links to each state's website.

Three criteria were used to review and categorize existing state content standards – level of specificity, format, and usability or ease of use. Specificity refers to the detail found within the content standards presented. Format refers to how content standards are made available to the public. Usability or ease of use is based upon personal observation. 

Since content standards merely provide a framework for instruction, the involvement of educators at the program level is critical. Content standards are a vital component of Virginia’s adult education service delivery system and are essential to sound pedagogical practice. With support from Governor Warner’s Education for a Lifetime initiative, adult educators are uniquely poised to improve the provision of services to adult learners through the development of content standards will improve the instructional process.

The appendix is composed of an interactive summary matrix of state standards with links to each state's website.”

Thanks to Yvonne for sharing this important work.

Partnership Search
February 26, 2004

Garrett Murphy has been asked by the Division of Adult Education and Literacy to prepare a “tool kit” of exemplary “partnering” strategies and activities. DAEL is particularly interested in partnerships that have been formed under the auspices of One-Stop Career Centers and which have resulted in tangible benefits to enrollees in adult education programs.  However, examples of any partnerships will help round out the kit.   

The “kit” will look at the dynamics of developing such partnerships, obstacles to be overcome, and benefits for adult learners.  

DAEL believes that States can profit from learning about successful strategies developed under current law.  Should amendments to the Workforce Investment Act be enacted in this legislative session, these successful strategies could be instructive to the new “required” infrastructure negotiation as well as to negotiations for benefits for adult learners that the new amendments make possible. 

Garrett would very much appreciate any help that you might give him in assembling the “kit.”  Please send him any write-ups that you may have available and/or contact information for key persons whom he might interview by phone. 

You can contact Garrett at (518) 339-6155 or at . His mailing address is 7 Maxwell Street, Albany, N.Y. 12208-1607  

Financial Literacy/ESL Ideas?
February 18, 2004

 Washington state has several commissions for ethnic affairs, each one appointed by the Governor to look toward the needs of a key population group.  A couple of the commissions have contacted our office asking for help in the area of financial literacy.   They are interested in programs that simultaneously increase adult literacy/ESL skills and the skills necessary to negotiate the world of banking, credit, home ownership, etc.  As we work with them and interested providers, we would like to know what other states have done in this area.   We're willing to create a new program, but think we might better use our energy to customize what some of our peers have already created.

Any suggestions, materials or resource people come to mind?” 

Please reply to Kathy Cooper on Israel’s staff at

ABE-to-College Transition
February 17, 2004

Two years ago Tony Carnevale spoke to us of the 12 million-person shortage of workers with “GED and some college.”   Since then we have discussed ways to help learners make the transition to the community college.  World Education and NCSALL are taking the lead in collecting and organizing those resources for us. 

So here are two things:  1) World Education/NCSALL’s announcement of the partnership to share strategies and resources, and 2) a request for you to share your strategies and program ideas with that partnership to begin building those web resources. 

1.  NCSALL’s announcement of the partnership

The web site is under construction.  I will send you a note when it is live. 

2.  Solicitation of strategies and resources (email to Silja Kallenbach at 

a.  Please email Silja any strategies, policies, or resources you have developed to help GED, AHS, or EDP graduates make the transition to post-secondary. 

b.  Please email Silja any correlations you might have of any of our testing instruments (e.g., TABE, GED, CASAS) with any college entrance/placement test (e.g., COMPASS, ACCUPLACEMENT). 

Thank you.  All of the resources will be housed on the partnership’s upcoming web site for all to use.

“Join the National ABE-to-College Transition Network
Commencing In May 2004

The National ABE-to-College Transition Network will support ABE staff, programs and states in establishing and strengthening ABE-to-college transition services through technical assistance, professional development, collegial sharing, advocacy and increased visibility for this critical sector of the adult basic education system. The Network is intended for anyone interested in helping GED and EDP/ADP graduates and other non-traditional adult learners gain access to, prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education. The Network will provide a forum for learning and dialogue among practitioners, policy-makers, staff development providers, and researchers. Basic membership is free, and gains members access to monthly news bulletins, a web site with relevant resources, and a listserv. The Network is sponsored and operated by World Education’s New England Literacy Resource Center, home of the New England ABE-to-College Transition Project. Network partners include the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, NAEPDC, and Nellie Mae Education Foundation.”

The web site is under construction.  I will send you a note when it is live.

2.  Solicitation of strategies and resources (email to Silja Kallenbach at

a.  Please email Silja any strategies, policies, or resources you have developed to help GED, AHS, or EDP graduates make the transition to post-secondary. 

b.  Please email Silja any correlations you might have of any of our testing instruments (e.g., TABE, GED, CASAS) with any college entrance/placement test (e.g., COMPASS, ACCUPLACEMENT).

Thank you.  All of the resources will be housed on the partnership’s upcoming web site for all to use.

Teacher Collaboration: You Can’t Have Program Improvement Without It.

February 9, 2004 

A key to that continuous improvement process for which we all strive involves engaging teachers in examining what is working and what is not followed by their collaborating to make things better. 

This article from the Public Education Network Weekly NewsBlast February 6, 2004 may give your local program managers strategies for a) removing persistent structural and institutional barriers that inhibit teacher collaboration, as well as b) creating structures that support and encourage teachers working together to improve program services. 

Here is the brief and the web site.

A growing body of research points to the critical importance of teacher collaboration if schools hope to achieve and sustain improvements in student performance. But institutionalizing collaborative working environments requires teachers to function as teams and abandon their traditional norms of isolationism and individualism. This interpretative study, published in the on-line research journal "Current Issues in Education," involved teachers in 45 North Louisiana schools. It suggests that while some schools and school districts are characterized by elements of the "learning community," others remain "largely mired in customary practices that are counterproductive to realizing the newer collaborative standards." Participating teachers report that, despite the rhetoric, major impediments to joint professional work remain and they make suggestions for better meeting the continuing collaborative challenge.

CoABE Update
February 2, 2004 

Here is a note from our colleague, Denise Pottmeyer (OH) regarding the upcoming Commission on Adult Basic Education Conference in Ohio.  CoABE is a tremendous learning experience, especially for you staff members.  

“COABE Update from Denise 

Hello!  COABE is fast approaching, and I wanted to give all of you an update, so you can spread the word and support participation from your state. 

The registration booklet for the COABE conference has been posted to the web site, The booklet will be mailed this week to over 4,800 current and former COABE members.  Please note that the deadline for applying for any of the COABE awards, scholarships, and incentive grants is February 6. Information and applications are available on the conference web site. 

We are anticipating more than 1,200 adult educators attending the annual conference. The conference program committee was overwhelmed by the response to the call for presentations. Two hundred and twenty proposals were considered for the 170 sessions that will be offered. Presenters are being notified of the status of their proposal. 

If you need additional information about the conference, please let me know.  We hope you will attend as well as many others from your state. 

Denise Pottmeyer
Ohio Department of Education
25 S. Front Street, Stop 614
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 466-5015”  

Call or email Denise if you have questions or suggestions. 


STATE STAFF PRECONFERENCE:  We (NAEPDC) are conducting a PreConference for state staff members from 9 to 4 entitled:  “State Staff Institute: Technology Options for Professional Development” in which you will see a variety of existing professional development options (web based, CD, video, etc.) developed by other states and learn how to adapt them for your state. 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT STAFF AND CONTRACTORS: The Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD) is conducting a PreConference from 8 to 12 noon entitled “Innovative Ideas in Professional Development.”  Make sure your professional development staff and contractors look over the description of this PreConference session.

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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