News, Views, and Clues 

June, 2007

 

 

small line  Transition Reports

 

small line  ESL & NAAL Discussions

small line  HS Dropout Rate 30%

small line  Colleague Question-ESOL Teacher Requirements

small line  Colleague Question-Student Eligibility Policy

small line  Colleague Question-Regional Programs


small line  Resource for Your Professional Development Leaders

 

 

Transition Reports

May 31, 2007
 




Here are two reports relating to transitions to post secondary. Though not adult education topics, they might inform your transition discussions.


Aligned Expectations? A Closer Look at College Admissions and Placement Tests:

Some states seeking to raise high school standards have begun using college admission or placement tests as high school exit exams. This study from
Achieve compares admission tests, including the ACT and SAT, against the
American Diploma Project's benchmarks to inform policymakers' decisions about if, and how, these tests should be incorporated into state K-12 assessment and accountability systems. Read the report:
<http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=1022506266&msgid=3637570&act=6DWT &c=6913&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pathwaystocollege.net%2FPCNLibr
ary%2FViewBiblio.aspx%3Faid%3D2255


Building a Culture of Evidence for Community College Student Success--Early Progress in the Achieving the Dream Initiative

Achieving the Dream is a multiyear, national initiative, launched by Lumina Foundation for Education, to help community college students stay in school and succeed. The 82 participating colleges commit to collecting and analyzing data to improve student outcomes, particularly for low-income students and students of color. This baseline report describes the early progress that the first 27 colleges have made after just one year of implementation. (MRDC) Read the report:
<http://www.mdrc.org/sps/go.cgi?c=42HrYZMJXdRsJMWWzo7o>

 


ESL & NAAL Discussions

May 17, 2007
 


The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) is sponsoring two upcoming discussions of interest for your teachers and program managers.

The first focuses on implementing ESL Content Standards.

The second will focus on what the National Assessment of Adult Literacy tells us about gender, race and socioeconomic status of adults.

Part I below cites the topics and dates.

Part II below gives all the details.

These discussions are excellent opportunities for your practitioners to connect with colleagues and experts from across the country from the comfort of their computer.


PART I:

1) Topic: Implementing adult ESL Content Standards
Where held: Adult English Language Learners Discussion List
When: May 21-25, 2007
To participate, subscribe: http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/Englishlanguage
List Moderator: Lynda Terrill, lterrill@cal.org

2) Topic: Gender, Race, SES and Adult Literacy: What does the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) tell us?
Where held: Poverty, Race, Women, and Literacy Discussion List
When: May 21-29, 2007
To participate, subscribe: http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/povertyracewomen
List Moderator: Daphne Greenberg, ALCDGG@langate.gsu.edu


PART II:

1) Topic: Implementing adult ESL Content Standards
Where held: Adult English Language Learners Discussion List
When: May 21-25, 2007
To participate, subscribe: http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/Englishlanguage
List Moderator: Lynda Terrill, lterrill@cal.org

Discussion Announcement

Please join us for an upcoming discussion on implementing adult ESL content standards from May 21-25. The discussion will be facilitated by Kirsten Schaetzel and Sarah Young of the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA). Kirsten and Sarah will be joined by adult ESL practitioners using standards in the field, including Dr. Lesley Tomaszewski of the Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning (TCALL) and Karen Gianninoto of the Maryland State Department of Education.

Before beginning the discussion, we would like to provide some background information about standards-based instruction based on two recent CAELA briefs: "Understanding Adult ESL Content Standards" (September 2006,
http://www.cal.org/CAELA/esl_resources/briefs/contentstandards.html) and "Using Adult ESL Content Standards" (March 2007,
http://www.cal.org/CAELA/esl_resources/briefs/usingcontstandards.html).
Content standards are broadly defined as what learners should know and be able to do in a certain subject or practical domain. They describe the knowledge and skills that students will have upon successful completion of an instructional program. Although standards are the foundation for designing curricula, instruction, and assessment, they do
not stipulate the types of lesson plans, activities, or teaching methodologies that should be used. Content standards, curriculum frameworks, and resource guides that states have developed can provide guidance to local programs and practitioners in developing effective curriculum and instruction.

Standards-based education has been a part of K-12 instruction and assessment for quite some time now, but it is a relatively new addition to the adult basic education and adult ESL fields. There are many adult ESL standards-based initiatives currently in development or in use, such as the Adult Education Content Standards Warehouse
(http://www.adultedcontentstandards.ed.gov) where sets of adult ESL content standards from ten states, CASAS, and Equipped for the Future (EFF) are available for download. The Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki Web site on Standards (http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/Standards) provides a list of existing and in-development adult education standards, curriculum frameworks, and resource guides from over 20 states, as well as links to standards from four other English-speaking countries. The Standards-In-Action project, funded by the Office of Vocational and
Adult Education, is working with six pilot states to develop professional development and resources for implementing standards in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

As we prepare to begin our discussion on what adult ESL content standards are and how they are used to improve instruction and learning, please consider the following questions. We look forward to hearing your responses and examining additional questions focused on implementing standards in adult ESL.

How are English language acquisition and skills development approached in content standards, and how does this differ from previous methods of ESL instruction?

Many people on this list have children in standards-based K-12 programs or who have taught in a K-12 setting. How do adult standards compare to K-12 standards? What can we learn or apply from K-12 standards-based education, in terms of research on instructional methods, activities, and materials, assessment, and professional development?

What professional development and supplementary materials are needed to facilitate adult ESL standards implementation?

How can we know if adult ESL standards-based instruction and assessment are beneficial for students, teachers, and programs?

We will be posting some preliminary thoughts about these questions next week, and look forward to hearing from practitioners and administrators in the field who have experience with adult ESL content standards or who are interested in learning more.

Sincerely,
Sarah Young & Kirsten Schaetzel
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
www.cal.org/caela




2) Topic: Gender, Race, SES and Adult Literacy: What does the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) tell us?
Where held: Poverty, Race, Women, and Literacy Discussion List
When: May 21-29, 2007
To participate, subscribe: http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/povertyracewomen
List Moderator: Daphne Greenberg, ALCDGG@langate.gsu.edu
Guest Discussant: Elizabeth Greenberg

Discussion Announcement

Guest Bio:
Elizabeth Greenberg, is a principal research analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and is AIR's Project Director for the 2008 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) Special Studies contract. She was also AIR's Deputy Project Director for the 2003 NAAL Design, Analysis, and Reporting contract. In her role as Deputy Project Director for the 2003 NAAL, she led the development of the NAAL background questionnaire and assessment items. She is a lead author or co-author of several reports based on the 2003 NAAL, including A First Look at the Literacy of America's Adults in the 21st Century, The Health Literacy of America's Adults, Literacy in Everyday Life, Literacy Behind Bars, and the 2003 NAAL Public-Use Data File User's Guide. Elizabeth is also an author or co-author of several reports and articles based upon the 1992 adult literacy data, including English Literacy and Language
Minorities in the United States.

Resources for Discussion:
Literacy in Everyday Life http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007480

A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006470

The Health Literacy of America’s Adults http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006483

Literacy Behind Bars http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007473



Key Points from NAAL 2003 related to Literacy, Gender, Race, and SES:

Gender

• Between 1992 and 2003, women's average document and quantitative literacy scores increased. During the same time period, men's average document literacy score decreased and there was no statistically significant change in average quantitative literacy for men.

• Between 1992 and 2003, women's average prose literacy score stayed the same, while men's average prose literacy score decreased.


• In 2003, women had higher average prose and document literacy than men, and men had higher average quantitative literacy than women.

• In 1992, there was no statistically significant difference between men and women in their average prose literacy, but men had higher average document and quantitative literacy than women.

Race

• Between 1992 and 2003, average prose, document, and quantitative literacy increased for Black adults.

• Between 1992 and 2003, average prose and document literacy decreased for Hispanic adults. Average quantitative literacy did not change for Hispanic adults. The percentage of the adult population (age 16 and older) that identified themselves as Hispanic increased from 8 percent in 1992 to 12 percent in 2003.

• Between 1992 and 2003, average prose literacy increased for Asian/Pacific Islander adults and there was no statistically significant change in average document and quantitative literacy for this group.

• Between 1992 and 2003, there was no statistically significant change in average prose and document literacy for white adults, but there was an increase in quantitative literacy.

Socioeconomic Status (SES)

• Among adults with Below Basic prose literacy, 26 percent lived in households with average incomes of less than $10,000 and only 7 percent lived i n households with average incomes of $60,000 or greater.

• Among adults with Proficient prose literacy, 2 percent lived in households with average incomes of less than $10,000 and 65 percent lived in households with average incomes of $60,000 or greater.

• Higher percentages of adults with higher literacy levels than adults with lower literacy levels were employed full-time, and lower percentages were out of the labor force. Sixty-four percent of adults with Proficient prose literacy were employed full-time, compared with 29 percent of adults with Below Basic prose literacy. Eighteen percent of adults with Proficient prose literacy were not in the labor force, compared with 57 percent of adults with Below Basic prose literacy.

• The occupational groups with the highest average prose, document, and quantitative literacy scores were Professional and related and Management, Business, and Financial. The occupational groups with the lowest average prose document and quantitative literacy scores were Service; Farming, Fishing, and Forestry; Transportation and Material Moving; Production; and Construction and Extraction.


Back to May 2007

HS Dropout Rate 30%

May 16, 2007

 

Secretary Spelling, the governors, and others are coming to grips with the actual high school drop out rate. Below is an article Lynn saw in the Washington Post reporting their concern about the severity. In the meantime, where does that 30% get help? Over three years, the total would be 90% of the current high school population.

Lynn’s note: While we have heard different statistics on dropouts this new report indicates a graduation rate of 70 percent. This has major implications for adult education and I thought you would want to see the article.....although I am sure your local newspapers have also had articles on this topic.

The Article

New Figures Show High Dropout Rate
Federal Officials Say Problem Is Worst For Urban Schools, Minority Males

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 10, 2007; Page A06

First lady Laura Bush and national education leaders yesterday unveiled an online database that promises to provide parents across much of the nation the first accurate appraisal of how many students graduate from high school on time in each school system.

The statistics paint a dire portrait: Seventy percent of students nationwide earned diplomas in four years as of 2003, the latest data available nationally, a much lower rate than that reported by the vast majority of school systems. According to the database, Washington area graduation rates ranged from 94 percent in Loudoun and Falls Church to a low of 59 percent in the District, with most other systems falling in the 60s, 70s and low 80s.

Graduation Rates: Conflicting Data
A new online database of graduation rates, produced by the trade journal Education Week and endorsed by national education leaders, suggests that most are lower than the rates reported by Maryland, Virginia and most other states.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the data show that half of the nation's dropouts come from a small group of largely urban "dropout factories," high schools "where graduation is a 50-50 shot or worse." She scolded state and local education officials for masking the problem by publishing inflated graduation rates based on bad math.

"We are finally moving from a state of denial to a state of acknowledgment," she said, speaking in Washington at a summit titled America's Silent Epidemic. "It's hard to believe such a pervasive problem has remained in the shadows for so long."

Most states, including Virginia, Maryland and the District, continue to report graduation rates by a method that, while accepted by the federal government, has been rejected by much of the academic community and was roundly criticized yesterday by federal officials. They estimate the graduation rate based on the number of students known to have dropped out. The problem is, few public high schools track every student who drops out.

"In some states," Spellings said, "a student is counted as a dropout only if he registers as a dropout. That's unlikely."

The publication of the new national database, compiled by the trade journal Education Week, signals a sweeping change in how graduates are counted. The site tabulates graduation data for school systems based on simple attrition, tracking the dwindling size of a high school class from the fall of freshman year to graduation day.

Bush, in a lunchtime speech, urged the nation's parents to consult the database and "find out if your community has a dropout problem."

The summit marks a growing national sense that high schools are facing a dropout crisis. The extent of the problem -- only two students in three graduate with their class -- has been clear for years within the education community but not among members of the general public, who, according to surveys, believe that nearly 90 percent of students graduate from high school.

Speakers stressed that dropout rates are particularly high among black and Hispanic students, especially males.

Prince George's County schools reported a 90 percent graduation rate for 2003. The new database shows a graduation rate of 67 percent for that system. More than half of the dropouts, it shows, never make it to the 10th grade.

Montgomery schools reported a 93 percent graduation rate for that year, but the database puts it at 82 percent. In that county, the database shows, the largest group of dropouts exits the system during 12th grade.

The District reported a graduation rate of 71 percent for 2003. The new database calculates the true graduation rate at a dozen points lower, with a steady exodus across the grades.

All 50 governors have embraced the new method -- a slight variation on the formula employed by Education Week -- for calculating graduation rates. Virginia schools will use the new formula by 2008, the District by 2010 and Maryland by 2011. Parents will probably see a precipitous drop in graduation rates reported by many high schools.

"I think you have to be honest with the people," said Mike Easley (D), governor of North Carolina, who participated in a panel discussion yesterday with two other governors.

Spellings also announced that graduation rates will be incorporated into the federal No Child Left Behind law by 2012 as a measure of adequate yearly progress for every high school, along with test scores and other factors.

Schools will have to meet federal targets for black and Hispanic students and other statistical subgroups, as well, a requirement likely to stir considerable anxiety in low-performing school systems.

Jynell Harrison, a 19-year-old graduate of Central High School in Providence, R.I., who is black, lamented her school district's 54 percent graduation rate and said, "I almost got lost, too."



Back to May 2007

 

Colleague Question-ESOL Teacher Requirements

May 16, 2007




Our colleague Marty Kelly (UT) wants to know:

Question # 1. Do you have licensure of adult education staff who are teaching ESOL?

Question # 2. Do you have other requirements for staff who are teaching ESOL?

PLEASE RESPOND TO MARTY at martykelly@schools.utah.gov


We will compile responses and post them on the web as a resource for all.


Marty Kelly
Director of Adult Education
Adult Education Services
Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801) 538-7824
Fax: (801) 538-7882
Email: martykelly@schools.utah.gov



 

Back to May 2007

 

Colleague Question-Student Eligibility Policy

May 10, 2006
 


Colleague Question-Student Eligibility Policy

Denise Pottmeyer (OH) is working with the lawyers to rewrite eligibility policy for adult students. If you have such, could you share?

Remember: Respond to Denise at
Phone: (614) 466-5015
Fax: (614) 728-8470
E-mail: denise.pottmeyer@ode.state.oh.us

CQ: Can you please send any policies you have related to who can participate in ABE programs related to any of the following:

Home Schooled
Adjudicated Youth
Age
Immigration status
Ability to Benefit
MR/DD

Ms. Denise Pottmeyer
State Director
Adult Basic and Literacy Education
Ohio Department of Education
25 South Front Street
Mail Stop 614
Columbus, OH 43215-4183
Phone: (614) 466-5015
Fax: (614) 728-8470
E-mail: denise.pottmeyer@ode.state.oh.us
Web site: http://www.ode.state.oh.us/ctae/adult/ABLE/


We will compile the responses Denise gets and put them on the NAEPDC web site.
 


Back to May 2007
 

 

Colleague Question-Regional Programs
May 9, 2006

 


Colleague Question-Regional Programs


Greetings, Here is a question from Debbie Varner (WV).

REMEMBER: Do not reply to this email. Rather, reply to Debbie at 304.558.5616 or dvarner@access.k12.wv.us 

West Virginia is a small, rural, geographical-challenged state. We are currently funding over 60 grantees. Several of these grantees provide services through very small adult education programs. We would like to consider the establishment of multi-county or regional consortia that could provide services through a more consistent, coordinated, and seamless system.

Has anyone in a rural state adopted such a regional approach? Would you share your implementation process with us? I would welcome any advice. You can call me at 304.558.5616 or email dvarner@access.k12.wv.us


Debrah F. Varner, Assistant Director
Office of Adult Education and Workforce Development
WV Dept. of Education
Building 6, Rm 230
1900 Kanawha Blvd., E.
Charleston, WV 25305




 

Back to May 2007

 

 

Resource for Your Professional Development Leaders
May 3, 2007

 

Resource for Your Professional Development Leaders

Topic: Distance and blended (a combination of some form of distance plus face-to-face) professional development--development, design and facilitation.

This month the NIFL Professional Development Discussion List is beginning a discussion regarding distance and blended professional develop options. Your state and local professional developers particularly will be interested in these discussions. Other state staff and local staff may be interested also.

The attached gives the details.

Please forward this note and the attachment as you see fit.


 

 

Back to May 2007