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News, Views, and Clues 

July, 2004

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TANF & Head Start Update, July 1, 2004

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Early Childhood Evaluation, July 6, 2004
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Mark Your November Calendar, July 9, 2004
small line Technology Plan, July 27, 2004
small line Colleague Request -Assessment, July 27, 2004
small line Health Literacy Assessment, July 27, 2004

TANF & Head Start Update
July 1, 2004

Two of the articles in the June/July 2004 issue of CLASP Update, might be of interest to you and your practitioners:  one on current TANF proposals and the other regarding a Head Start Report.  An abstract of each is below followed by the URL for the entire online issue.

Child Support Measures That Would Help Poor Families

Current law requires families who receive cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to sign over their rights to unpaid child support to the state.  States keep much of the child support collected for current and former TANF families and share the money with the federal government.  The Senate Finance Committee TANF bill would give states options to pass through more of the money to families, and it also includes stronger enforcement measures, according to a recent analysis by Vicki Turetsky, CLASP Senior Staff Attorney.   

Head Start Children, Families, and Programs in 2003

A new CLASP policy brief, Moving Forward: Head Start Children, Families, and Programs in 2003, by Katherine Hart and Rachel Schumacher, presents the latest federal data on Head Start, offering insights into the services the program provided and whom it served in 2003.  Head Start continued to serve a diverse population of low-income children, mostly in working families.  In 2003, more Head Start children had access to continuous medical and dental care than in previous years.  Early Head Start children showed a particularly dramatic increase in access to dental care, rising from 47 percent in 2002 to 64 percent in 2003.   

The entire issue can be found online at:


The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1968, conducts research, policy analysis, technical assistance, and advocacy on issues related to economic security for low-income families with children. For more information about CLASP, visit

Early Childhood Evaluation
July 6, 2004 

Here is a resource you might want to pass on to your Family Literacy leadership and practitioners from Public Education Network Weekly NewsBlast for July 2, 2004.

Below is the abstract of Harvard’s research projects on early childhood programs.  The full issue (see the URL at the end) has a number of interesting related articles.

The Spring 2004 issue of Harvard Family Research Project's "The Evaluation Exchange" periodical charts the course of early childhood programming and evaluation over nearly half a century. Contributing authors offer a range of views on how best to communicate the importance of investing in a child's early years and how to improve early childhood programs and policies. Several articles consider the explosion of science -- from longitudinal studies of child outcomes to a large-scale demonstration program -- that has helped forward our understanding of how young children learn and grow. Finally, a number of articles suggest that better information is needed to close the persistent gap in achievement between children from low-income families and those from middle-income homes.

Mark Your November Calendar
July 9, 2004 

The NAEPDC National Training Institute (NTI) will be held November 3-6, 2004 in New Orleans-- Please plan to join your colleagues. 

Linda Warner (IN) chairs the Professional Development Committee which is designing these sessions to provide you with a) a number of resources and strategies developed by your colleagues in other states and b) opportunities to discuss options and ways to adapt each to meet the needs of your state. You will leave New Orleans with resources for leading initiatives in your state.   

The Professional Development Committee members have identified the tentative time frames and topics below.  If you have suggestions related to schedule or topics, please feel free to send them to Linda Warner (   

If you have successful strategies in any of these areas, please send them to Linda Warner (  We would love to feature your state’s work. 

Tentative topics include: 

1.  State Plan Development:  OVAE will conduct a technical/legislative session later after the bill passes, but this day-long session will focus on “process” options including:

·        state-wide needs assessment strategies including

o       specific proven data sources

o       options for presenting the data

·        processes for engaging the field, as well as other agencies and stakeholders, in analyzing needs and contributing to your plan without your agency relinquishing control

·        identification of program development priorities and resulting multi-year initiatives to develop, implement, and evaluate the success of each initiative, and

·        guidance to help local programs conduct assessments, engage partners, and develop multi-year program improvement plans.

 2.  Half-day sessions will provide policy development options for health literacy, financial literacy, and learning disabilities. 

3.  Half-day sessions will explore strategies for boosting two performance standards: 

·        GED Completion

·        Transition to Post Secondary 

4.  Overview of the National Assessment Adult Literacy (NAAL) survey and preparation for the release of the reports in the summer of 2005. 

5.  Distance professional development resources developed by several states and available for your state to tweak for use to prepare and train your teachers and program managers. 

Each of these sessions will provide you with a variety of state-level strategies to use as guides for developing, implementing and evaluating your own initiatives.  Sessions will also give you time to consider each option, discuss the pros and cons with your colleagues, and sketch out tentative initiative plans.

Mark your calendars.  More details will follow in the coming weeks.  Send any suggestions to Linda Warner (

Technology Plan?
July 9, 2004 

Do you have an adult education technology plan?  Are you willing to share it with your colleagues? 

As many of you heard at the dinner we hosted in Columbus prior to the State Directors’ meeting, we are working with NCAL (the National Center for Adult Literacy) to help interested states develop a state adult education technology plan and expand or enhance the use of technology in instruction and professional development. 

The project entitled Project STAIT (State Technical Assistance for Information Technology) is working with 13 states. 

One of the resources we are compiling for their use, and for your use when you would like, is sample technology plans.   

REQUEST:  If you have developed a state adult education technology plan, would you please send Noreen and Janet a copy or a link to the site where it can be found? 

Noreen Lopez (NAEPDC) & Janet Smith (NCAL)

TECH21/Project STAIT


We will post the plans on both the NAEPDC website and the password protected Project STAIT Website for you and your colleagues to use as references.

Thank you for sharing your work.  Be sure to check out the Resource Library on our website ( for a growing number of resources designed specifically for State Directors and their staff members.


Colleague Request--Assessment
July 27, 2004

Becky Byrd and her colleagues in Montana are designing new ABE/ESL assessment policies.  They would appreciate your ideas and opinions.

Attached is an electronic survey that will go directly to her workgroup members.  They will share what they find with all of you. 

Just click on the URL below.  It will take you to the survey.  When finished, click on the “submit” button at the end. 

Thank you for helping out your colleague.

Health Literacy Assessment
July 27, 2004


National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)
Health Literacy Component (HLC) Webcast

You are invited to attend a special webcast event hosted by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL): an interactive presentation about the Health Literacy Component (HLC) of the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). The NAAL HLC is the first-ever national assessment designed specifically to measure health literacy. This webcast event, targeted especially toward the research community, will highlight key design features, new types of data, and data uses.

NAAL HLC Webcast -
When: Tuesday, August 3, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST
Where: Instruction on how to access the presentation will be provided on the NIFL LINCS website at
Presenters: Sheida White, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Andrew Kolstad, NCES
Please RSVP by August 2 to Connie Harich via e-mail (

Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the 2003 NAAL assesses the literacy skills of a nationally representative sample of about 18,000 American adults. Data collection has been completed, and results will be released in summer 2005. The NAAL HLC provides a separate health literacy score, based solely on health-related tasks. The health literacy score will be compared with (1) NAAL's extensive data on background variables, (2) performance on NAAL's general literacy tasks, and (3) performance on a NAAL instrument that focuses on basic reading skills. The 2003 HLC data will provide a baseline for future assessments.

NAAL's general literacy tasks emphasize the use of everyday printed materials to function in one's environment. The health-related tasks used for the HLC focus on the following key aspect of health literacy:

The ability to use printed and written information associated with a broad range of health-related tasks to accomplish one's goals at home, in the workplace, and in the community (including health care settings)

Developed in response to a request by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HLC is designed to provide input for achieving Healthy People 2010's goal of improving health literacy. HLC data can help guide development of (1) programs to address deficiencies in health literacy and (2) written health information tailored to the literacy strengths and weaknesses of target audiences.

This special webcast presentation of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) Health Literacy Component (HLC) is sponsored by The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL).

For information please contact:

Jaleh Behroozi Soroui
National LINCS Director
National Institute for Literacy
1775 I street, Suite 730
Washington DC, 20006
Phone: 202/233-2039
FAX:   202/233-2050


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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