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News, Views, and Clues

January, 2004

small line Youth In Adult Basic Education, January 21, 2004
small line Indiana Follow-up Resources, January 13, 2004
small line Adult Special Learning Needs Conference in March, January 6, 2004

Youth In Adult Basic Education 
January 21, 2004

Youth in adult basic education is a much discussed topic across the country.  However, until now, little has been written and reported on state of affairs.

In an upcoming issue, Focus on Basics at NCSALL Kathrynn Di Tommaso and Jennifer Roloff-Welch are developing such a resource to provide you and other practitioners with helpful facts and insights.  

They are using a number of sources, but there is some information only you can provide.

Could you help by responding to three questions/requests to Jennifer at


1.  Could you email a copy of Tables 2 and 3 from your federal report for FY1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003—the last five years? (Kathrynn—do you have a fax number)

2.  If you have special programs targeted to out-of-school youth 16-21, could you briefly describe those programs?

3.  If you would be willing to talk with them briefly about trends of youth in ABE/GED, indicate such and include your contact information.

Their report of this and other information will be helpful to us all in understanding implications for policy and programming.

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

Indiana Follow-up Resources
January 13, 2004

 As a follow-up to a recent Indiana managers’ institute with Linda Warner, her staff, and local program managers, I prepared some resources that came up during our discussions.  In hopes that they may be helpful to you and yours, I am including them below:  

1.  Built to Last--the successful welfare-to-work program mixes training and education:  Built to Last, co-funded by our office, NIFL, and CLASP, reports the powerful economic and employment effects of "mixed" training and education services.  Just read the Executive Summary to get the essence of the work.  The website for the report is:

 2.  Dictionary of Occupational Titles:  I mentioned the DOT because it contains every job in the country, a glossary of terms used with each job (for vocabulary development), and the reading, math, and English levels needed for that job.  It is a great resource for helping students develop learning plans around meeting the requirements of a current job or planning to develop the skills to qualify for a potential job.  The website is listed below.  Appendix C of the document explains the educational codes.

 3.  ISO 9000:  If you are going to do workplace education, you need to know the International Organization for Standards (ISO) that enables companies to meet international standards in order to validate that they are controlling for quality and thereby, qualify to compete in the global marketplace.  As a result, employees are involved in collecting data and statistical process controls (SPC).  Workplace education programs can help companies meet the ISO standards by including SPC in the learning activities. The ISO main website can be found at: 

The overview of ISO on that website can be found at: 

4.  GED Impact on Earnings:  The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) ( at Harvard published a number of resources related to GED. 

The most recent is the first issue of a new publication Focus on Policy entitled "GED and Beyond."  Three of the articles are:

Is the GED Valuable to Those Who Pass it?

Is it Time for the Adult Education

System to Change Its Goal from

High School Equivalency to

College Readiness?

A Model for Adult


Transition Programs 

These were the topics we discussed during the training.  The web site for the Focus on Policy document is: 

NOTE:  I think I mentioned to you that this entire issue of Focus on Policy would serve as an excellent discussion document for your advisory committee or program managers to discuss the future of the GED.    

In addition, John Tyler has done studies on GED impact that "examines the economic impact of the GED for high school dropouts, and the implications of these outcomes for K-12 education."  A report of that work can be found at:

 5.  Crosswalk for TABE, GED, COMPASS:  We were talking about a document that relates the TABE, GED, and COMPASS tests that would give some indication of what a score on one might mean for a score on the other.  I regret I cannot find this resource and will poll the states to see if anyone has it.  

6.  Hitting the Wall--the shortage of workers with GED and some college:  We talked about the job growth requirements for GED plus some college and the resulting need to get teachers and students to leave behind the notion that GED is the terminal degree and to "grease the skids" to get students into the community college.  Attached is Tony Carnevale's article with the background data.

Adult Special Learning Needs Conference in March

January 6, 2004

 Resources for serving adults with special learning needs are rare.  The NAASLN conference continues to provide one of those opportunities to learn how to better serve this important segment of our students.

Below is the announcement of the conference.  Attached are 1) a NAASLN conference news release and 2) a preliminary listing of the topics.

Please feel free to forward these materials to others in your state who serve adults with special learning needs.

”NAASLN is presenting a three-day international conference:
Embracing Dialog for Improved Services:  Authentic Conversations Leading to ActionsMarch 7 - 9, 2004. Tampa, FL

The conference will offer over 50 sessions for service providers, administrators, and employers.  Presentations will include research, cutting-edge models, and practical ways to better serve adults with specific learning needs. The conference will also host an array of quality exhibits targeting products and services for adults with specific learning needs. Conference sessions will be offered up-to-date information on state and national initiatives.”

The NAASLN web site can be found at



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Phone: 202-624-5250; Fax: 202-624-1497; Email:

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