News, Views, and Clues 

October, 2006

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State Staff Database

small line National Literacy Summit Web Cast
small line Adult Ed is 40 Years Old November 3

small line ESL Propositions


State Staff Database Reminder
October 27, 2006

State Staff Data Base--Reminder

The State Staff workgroup continues compiling the state staff members in order to provide professional development and facilitate networking across state lines.

Thank you to the following states for submitting their state staff information.
Thank you Alabama, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah.

If you do NOT SEE YOUR STATE listed above, please ask your Consortium Associate or whoever will be submitting the information, to go to

Directions: You only need to enter the “state director” information the one time. After you enter the first state staff person, click “submit form” and if you have additional state staff members, click the browser’s back button and enter additional staff.


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National Literacy Summit Web Cast
October 25, 2006


National Literacy Summit Web Cast
Monday, October 30, 1:00-4:30 pm EDT

This invitation is from the National Coalition for Literacy.

Fellow Literacy Advocates:

The National Coalition for Literacy invites you to attend the National Literacy Summit.2 at your desktop. This second annual literacy event will convene literacy providers, corporate sponsors, government representatives and academic institutions to identify what works in literacy across the lifespan - the science, strategies and practices that effect positive outcomes. Together we will:

For more information, visit

If the link breaks up in the email transmission, please copy and paste it into your Web browser. If you have further complications, contact Anna Marie Teague at

Thank you and we hope you will join us on October 30!
Monday, October 30, 2006
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST



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Adult Ed is 40 Years Old November 3
October 25, 2006

Adult Ed is 40 Years Old November 3
Tom Sticht

Colleagues: The following article appears in Reading TODAY, the official newspaper of the International Reading Association with a readership of some 160,000 worldwide. I hope all of you are planning celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the AELS on November 3rd.

Reading Today October/November 2006 Vol. 24, No. 2 page 22

U. S. Adult Education and Literacy System marks milestone

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Adult Education and Literacy System (AELS) in the United States, which continues today as Title 2: The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Over the past four decades, adults have produced some 100 million enrollments in AELS. Yet establishing the system took years of effort.

A merger of interests.

By the beginning of the 1960s, the adult education community had become fragmented into several factions: those seeking recognition for adult education as a broad, liberal educational component of the national education system; those seeking education for the least educated, least literate adults; and those seeking to enhance America’s security and increase the industrial productivity of the nation by giving education and job training to adults stuck in poverty.

None of these groups, however, was having much success getting adult education or adult literacy education implemented in federal legislation.

Finally, leverage to break the log jam came from the nation’s military. In the summer of 1963, a task force on manpower conservation was established by the Department of Labor. The task force, led by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, set out to understand why so many young men were failing the military’s standardized entrance screening exam, the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), and to recommend what might be done to alleviate this problem.

The task force’s report was delivered on January 1, 1964, to President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had taken office in November following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The report revealed that one third of the young men called for military service did not meet the standards of health and education. It went on to recommend methods for using the AFQT to identify young adults with remediable problems and to provide them services, and it also recommended the enactment of new legislation that would provide additional education and training.

In launching his "Great Society" programs in May 1964, Johnson argued that "The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time"

By appealing to "abundance and liberty," Johnson captured the interest of those in Congress concerned with employment, productivity, and poverty as well as those concerned with national security. In August 1964, Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act into law. It contained within it Title IIB: the Adult Basic Education program.

In 1966, adult educators lobbied to move the Adult Basic Education program to the U. S. Office of Education and to change the name to the Adult Education Act, broadening its applicability beyond basic education. Congress agreed, and, on November 3, 1966, Johnson signed an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that included Title III: The Adult Education Act of 1966.

With the passing of the Adult Education Act, the seed from which the AELS would grow was finally planted. For 40 years, adults have used the AELS to help them find abundance and liberty from the bonds of poverty and underemployment for themselves and their families. For tens of millions of adults this hope has been fulfilled.

[Note: Most of the foregoing is adapted from " The rise of the Adult Education and Literacy System in the United States: 1600-2000" by Thomas Sticht, in John Comings, Barbara Garner, and Cristine Smith (Eds.), The annual review of adult learning and literacy (volume 3, pages 10-43). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

Thomas G. Sticht
International Consultant in Adult Education
El Cajon, California, USA


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ESL Propositions
October 13, 2006

ESL Propositions

Arizona's Proposition 300 on the November ballot would require adult education programs to serve only documented aliens. If you have similar propositions on your ballot this fall or if you have other similar provisions underway in your state, would you give a brief description in a return email?

Email them to me at 

Thank you for your help.


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