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News, Views, and Clues

June, 2003

small line HR 1261 Amendments, June 5, 2003
small line Your Reaction to a New Resource, June 13, 2003
small line The Difference—One View, June 27, 2003
small line Changing of the Guard, June 30, 2003

News, Views, and Clues

June 5, 2003 

HR 1261 Amendments


To:  State Directors of Adult Education 

From:  Garrett Murphy 

Subject :  Passage of HR1261 the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act

 I have just learned that this message never reached the office for transmittal to the members.  It is about three amendments that passed on the floor on the day that HR1261 passed the House.  Therefore, these three amendments are part of the bill.  As you have probably heard, the subject bill passed the House by a vote of 220 to 204.  (The Senate has not yet produced a companion piece of legislation.) 

The first amendment was submitted by Representative Thomas Allen of Maine.  It adds to the list of mandatory members of local workforce investment boards “administrators of entities providing adult education and literacy activities.”  Other One-Stop partners were not restored to the boards, so adult education administrators (probably one per board) would sit on the local boards with private sector representatives, superintendents of schools, community college presidents, labor representatives, and representatives of community and faith based organizations.  Members of local boards would be chosen by chief elected officials according to criteria set by the governor of each State. 

It is important to note that this is a very different arrangement from our current participation on such boards.  Currently, “One-Stop partners” must be represented on local boards.  The Department of Labor regulations deemed the State eligible agency to be the one-Stop partner for Title II – thereby giving the eligible agency the authority to designate who would serve on local boards.  Under this new provision, this authority would no longer exist. 

The second amendment that affects adult education was submitted by Representative John Kline of Minnesota.  His amendment establishes guidelines for governors to assist them in determining the proper amount to be contributed by each partner program in support of One-Stop infrastructure and other One-Stop expenses.  The amendment establishes two criteria: (1) relative use of the One-Stops by the partner programs; and (2) the costs of administration of purposes not related to the One-Stop centers.  The amendment also says, “The funds provided …by each One-Stop partner shall be provided only from funds available for the costs of administration under the program administered by such partner and shall be subject to the limitations with respect to the portion of funds under such programs that may be used for administration.”  Apparently so many programs complained that supporting the One-Stops would drain money from direct services that the House has made it clear that only administration dollars may be used.  At this point it is unclear as to whether the House intends that only State administrative funds would be used or whether assignments of dollars to support One-Stops could be included in the administrative category of grants to local agencies. 

The third amendment affecting adult education was submitted by Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, the manager of the legislation and Chairman of the 21st Century Competitiveness Subcommittee along with Representative John Boehner of Ohio, the Chairman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.  Most of the changes are technical, except for some substantive changes to the National Institute for Literacy provisions.

In Section 212 one core indicator is changed from “reading, writing and speaking the English language and math, and English language acquisition…” to reading, writing and speaking the English language and basic math….”  In  Section 225, “Definition of Criminal Offender” is changed to “Definitions” since a number of definitions follow.  In section 231(b) “family” is capitalized.  In the listing of ‘measurable goals” in Section 231(d) the words “whether” and “whether or not” are removed.   In Section 231(d)(7) “when appropriate and scientifically based” is inserted after “real-life contexts. The amendment also restores the “Special Rule” that allows use of adult education funds to serve children in a family literacy program only when all other funding sources have been exhausted. 

The amendment restores the tri-agency governance set-up for NIFL.  It provides for an interim Director during a vacancy.  The role of the advisory board is substantially downgraded.  Phrases like “work closely with the Director” have been changed to “provide advice to the Director”, and the ability of the Board to provide policy guidance and advice to the Director is stricken.  The Institute’s research must be consistent with standards set by the Institute of Education Sciences.  In several cases where a provision began with “The Institute shall”, the bill is changed to “The Director shall….” .  In the Duties section, providing policy assistance to Congress has been removed.  A new duty is to maintain an internet site to provide useful information to educators and the public.  Finally, the amendment contains a definition of literacy that is identical to the one at the beginning of Title II – reading and language arts only – no math.

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


News, Views, and Clues

June 13, 2003 

Your Reaction to a New Resource

 NCSALL recently launched its newest publication ‑ Focus on Policy.  You are one of the primary audiences for this publication.  Most of you received a copy of it at the state director's meeting in Portland, OR you will also receive a copy in the mail very soon, OR you can look at it online at 

FOP is designed to synthesize available research on a specific topic and present key findings and policy implications. This first issue is on the GED. 

Since this is a new publication with you as a primary audience, could you look it over and send Karen Rowe ( or 617‑482‑9485 ext.509) your thoughts around the following questions:   

1. The goal is to provide an easy‑to‑understand summary of the research.

Did you find this first issue on the GED easy to read?

How well did this format and content meet your needs for policy information?

What changes would you suggest to make it easier for you to get the facts and implications that you need?  

2. Each issue will focus on one specific topic.

What topics would you like to see upcoming issues focus on?

What do you need or want policy guidance on? 

3. We would like you to distribute limited print copies to key policymakers in your state. (You can also download it from the NCSALL website. Please feel free to download, photocopy and distribute copies.)

Do you think you will use it and how?

If we could send you multiple copies, how many would be appropriate for your state? (Your responses will influence our next print run.)

To whom will you distribute it?

Please briefly indicate to whom (main categories of people) you will send copies.

Please send your responses directly to Karen Rowe, NCSALL Dissemination Director ‑  Or, feel free to contact Karen by telephone at 617‑482‑9485 ext.509.

 Thank you very much. 

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



News, Views, and Clues

June 27, 2003 

The Difference—One View 

Here is an article that you may want to share and discuss with your local program managers and encourage them to do the same with their teachers and tutors.  Below is a short review that includes a link to the full article, which is only a page or two long.

Adult education is different than children’s education.  Children’s literacy, for example, has been defined as “reading to learn.”  Reading skill development prepares children to read more complex material.  Adult literacy has been defined as “reading to learn, and reading to do.”  Often, adult learners want to and need to use information pretty quickly in their work, family, or community roles. 

Perhaps this article will help practitioners discuss how we prepare students to be conscious of how they are processing the information.  The process is as important as the product.


Although mastering subject matter is important, strategies to increase thinking power are equally important, writes Marv Marshall. Schooling today emphasizes "correct" answers and single solutions. But in so many situations, it is not how many correct answers one knows, but rather how one proceeds when one does not know ‑‑ as when confronted with problems, dilemmas, enigmas, and situations to be addressed, the answers to which are not immediately known or readily available. This is becoming truer every day in the rapidly changing information age. Students often attempt to solve a problem or analyze a situation without thinking. The answer may be so obvious that they just say it. There are many situations that can be dealt with successfully in this way. However, a problem arises when this approach does not work because the task has become too complex. For students who are habituated to thinking at the perceptual level, and who have not developed cognitive tools, such problems appear to be "too much" for them to deal with, and they just give up. According to Marshall, the inability to take charge of one's own cognitive processes is a very large part of the at‑risk/dropout problem ‑‑ as well as discipline problems.


(From the Public Education Network: PEN Weekly NewsBlast for June 27, 2003)

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


News, Views, and Clues

June 30, 2003

Changing of the Guard

 Its 5:00 P.M. on Monday, June 30, 2003.  As this day comes to an end, Garrett Murphy steps downs as our Policy Analyst to become our Policy Consultant.  That means he can do what he wants to rather than what he has to.  Lynn Selmser, author of much of WIA Title II and with rich Hill experience with the House Education and Workforce Committee, begins as your new Policy Analyst tomorrow.  So the State Directors' Consortium and Council are in good hands.

 Our future is hopeful and much of our success and hopefulness are built on a firm foundation that Garrett helped lay.  You have seen the excellent analyses that Garrett  produced for you that also informed the Department and Congress.  You have heard his pensive presentations making very complex issues make sense.   I always enjoyed his historical perspective, often taking us back to the 1960s and tracing the evolution of legislative intent or MDTA to CETA to JTPA to WIA.  His recapping of the developmental cycles put everything into perspective and enhanced our understanding of why we are where we are at this point in time.

 As Lynn takes charge of the day-to-day policy work we all hope to be privileged to enjoy an occasional return visit from Adult Education's Senior Statesman.  "Privileged" is the appropriate word here.  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be a colleague of Garrett's.  I know you feel privileged to be his colleague as well as the recipient of his work. 

 Even though Garrett will continue to work with us from time to time, I did not feel like I could let this day pass without saying "Garrett, thanks for all of your  unselfish devotion to your colleagues and your field."  I know Katherine has the "to do" list in hand ready for tomorrow to come.  We will miss our regular contact and look forward to your returning whenever you like.


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