Every year OTAN produces three issues of OTAN Online Connection, the OTAN newsletter, to print and mail to members, disseminate electronically, and distribute at conferences and workshops.

The latest addition is available in PDF format on the Newsletter page and features the following topics:

  1. Recap of the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2017
  2. Announcement about the new Adult Education Director at Sacramento County Office of Education
  3. A short vignette about a math assessment tool and a welder preparation program

The director, Joyce Hinkson, is taking over the space on the back page and starts a new tradition. Dr. Hinkson provides tech tips that #AdultEDU External link opens in new window or tab field will find useful. This issue offers step-by-step tips on how to add a video to Google Slides and a list of keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal advisor, issued a report to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education, which provided an overview of adult education in California. The report provided background and an assessment of the adult education program including key policy issues that remain unresolved.

According to the report, school districts and the California Community Colleges (CCC) are the main providers of adult education in California. The state restructured its adult education system in 2013-14 due to historical fragmentation between school districts and the community colleges. The new system made the following structural changes:

  • Created 71 regional adult education consortia of school districts and community colleges in collaboration with other stakeholders
  • Provided funding to develop and implement regional adult education plans
  • Eliminated the K-12 adult education categorical program and folded funds into the Local Control Funding Formula
  • Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) and CCC to make recommendations on aligning student assessments, adopting a common student identifier, and developing consistent fee policies across providers
  • Requires the CCC Academic Senate and Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to make recommendations on establishing teacher reciprocity policies between school districts and CCC
  • Requires each consortium to develop and update a three-year regional adult education plan
  • Requires CDE and CCC to report annually on consortias’ regional plans, types of service, and funding allocations

The report highlights the additional funding that continues to support adult education, including the state apportionment funding for CCC, federal funds from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Carl D. Perkins and Technical Education Act, and fees that are charged by school districts and the CCC.

In assessing the progress of the adult education restructuring, the LAO has found that some consortia are more effective than others in redistricting and coordinating services, that the 2015-16 CDE and CCC annual report fell short of meeting statutory requirements, such as program outcomes and effectiveness, and that the following key policy issues remain unresolved:

  • CDE and CCC laid out options for aligning assessment, data, and fee policies, but did not make any recommendations to the Legislature
  • CCC Academic Senate and CTC laid out options for establishing teacher reciprocity, but did not make any recommendations
  • To date, the Legislature has not taken action to align policies in these areas

The CDE and CCC report that they will convene workgroups in late spring to try and build consensus on recommendations for the unresolved policy issues and that they expect to implement a performance reporting system linking data from school districts, the CCC, and the Employment Development Department by 2017-18.

To access the LAO’s report go to http://www.lao.ca.gov/Publications/Detail/3628.

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Webinar Date: Thursday May 11, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Presenter: Katie Landeros (American Institutes for Research)

This webinar will provide an overview of results from a recently released study called the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Prison Study. This study provides information on skills and competencies of incarcerated adults, and compares them to those of adults in U.S. households. The study also includes information on the extent of inmates’ participation in formal education and job training programs.

Compared to the household population, the incarcerated population is disproportionately male, Black, and Hispanic and has lower levels of education. A large majority (94 percent) of incarcerated adults have no more education than a high school degree (and many have less) compared to 64 percent of adults in the general U.S. household population. Compared to the U.S. household average, incarcerated adults’ literacy scores are significantly lower (by 21 points) and their average numeracy scores are significantly lower (by 35 points). About 20 percent of incarcerated adults are currently studying for a formal degree, with 70 percent of those currently not studying reporting they would like to enroll in an education program.

For more information about the study, visit the PIAAC Gateway: www.piaacgateway.com.

Lopez photo

Originally from Michoacán, Mexico, Assemblywoman Patty López came to the U.S. at 12 and grew up in Pacoima. While raising her own family, she started studying at the North Valley Occupational Center. As a mother of four, she knew educating herself was the best way to provide a better future for her daughters. She took basic ESL and high school classes, GED preparation, vocational and college courses.

Patty became active in a local parent group that worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District to help failing schools. She gradually expanded her political and community organizing roles, and was especially concerned by the elimination of adult education funding at the height of the state's financial crisis.

The desire to help her community led to a decision to run for the State Assembly in 2014. In a surprising upset, she won the election and took office as a political novice. She has since introduced legislation in key areas of concern to her and her constituents. Four of her bills have been signed by the Governor.

Locally, she has hosted dozens of free workshops on housing, education, small businesses, immigration and other issues. She has been a champion for the people in countless ways.

Now, Patty is fighting hard to rebuild the adult education system in California. In 2016, she introduced a bill to restore funding to pre-recession levels.

Whether from within the legislature or elsewhere, Patty's plan is to continue working hard to improve our communities, and she is deeply committed to helping people understand our system of government.

Patty overcame difficulties in her life by educating herself and taking the time to learn something new each day. Having access to adult education programs helped her achieve her goals and it is one of the reasons she wants to ensure that other adults have that same opportunity.

Jeffrey George Photo

Jeffrey George came into the Sonoma County Library’s Adult Literacy Program in August 2014 to sign up for weekly tutoring and to work on literacy and life goals. He was assessed at a beginning to beginning intermediate literacy level at that time, and his primary motivation was to be able to help his three young children with their reading, writing, and school work. At that time, Jeffrey was a full-time stay at home dad who knew he wanted to be of more help to his wife and children. His recorded goals were: learn the alphabet, reading, writing, and spelling in order to help his children and interact with their teachers at school. However, Jeffrey also set a goal to obtain a driver’s license and a business license on that same assessment date.

Jeffrey was matched with volunteer tutor Laura Owens who shares the following about their work together, “Jeffrey was a pleasure to coach; he was motivated, always receptive, grateful, and in very good spirits, even though he was working several jobs as well as being tutored, and being a dad and husband.” Together, Laura and Jeffrey met for a minimum of two hours a week at their local library branch around their working schedules to pursue Jeffrey’s education goals.

By May 2015, Jeffrey had met and exceeded all of his original goals. He was able to read to his three children and help them with their school needs. He had passed his driver’s tests and obtained his Driver’s License. He was also applying for full-time work for the city in which he resided and was ready to leave our program.

Jeffrey now owns his own fully licensed and insured landscaping business, George Family Landscaping, and is able to financially support his wife and four children with this work. He has a future goal of purchasing his own home. Originally motivated to seek his own education for his family, he is extremely proud to share that one of his young sons has achieved huge academic success and received a scholastic achievement certificate signed President Obama. As a member of his community, Jeffrey has been involved with American Rainbow Rapid Response’s relief efforts loading and unloading supplies and equipment in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Jeffrey enjoys working with children when he can and hopes to have more time to participate in his community – perhaps when he is not quite as busy working!

Jeffrey overcame many challenges to pursue his education as an adult and Laura shares that prior to being able to read, Jeffrey used his innate intelligence and positive demeanor to mask his inability to read. Faced with ordering from a restaurant menu, Jeffrey would request more time to decide, let his companion order first, and then order that as well because it sounded delicious.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Jeffrey worked to support his brothers and sisters rather than being able to focus on an early education. From his own current perspective, Jeffrey shares that his biggest challenge was overcoming his own embarrassment about his lack of education and opening up in order to ask for help as an adult. After facing this fear, Jeffrey describes his experience with adult education as one that opened him up to the possibilities and attainment of his life and education goals, but also opened him to spiritual growth and expansion in many other areas of his life. At present, Jeffrey George is a successful business owner, a proud father and family provider, a community member who helps when needed, and a positive, encouraging presence to those fortunate enough to interact with him. When he’s not all that, he continues to study and progress on his own.