U.S. Departments of Labor and Education Host Adults in Transition Forum
Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education at the U.S. Department of Education and Jane Oates, assistant secretary for employment and training at the U.S. Department of Labor, co-hosted the Adults in Transition: Learning Strategies to Support Career Change forum at Harper College in Palatine, Ill., on July 14, 2010. The forum facilitated discussion among experts regarding promising practices in skills-upgrading and workforce transitions for adults. Participants included workforce, adult education, and postsecondary education experts and practitioners from states that have implemented successful models. Representatives from organizations that have provided technical assistance and/or research on transitional strategies also participated. The forum is one of a series designed to inform the two departments as they collaborate on a technical assistance strategy to improve the capacity of the workforce system to serve the expanding number of adults, including dislocated workers, who require re-training to re-enter the workforce and embark on new careers that pay a family-sustaining wage.
OVAE Selects 12 States for Help in Improving Adult Ed Instruction
OVAE recently announced the selection of 12 states to participate in the Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy (TEAL) Initiative to improve the quality of teaching in adult education. Chosen via a competitive process were: California, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. TEAL aims to improve instruction by helping adult educators implement quality practices such as diagnostic assessment, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Response to Intervention (RTI). The project will field-test professional development materials and provide intensive training as well as ongoing technical assistance to teachers. TEAL runs through September 2012 and is supported with national leadership activity funds under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA).
NGA Launches College Completion Initiative
National Governors’ Association (NGA) chair Gov. Joe Manchin III (West Virginia) recently announced NGA’s Complete to Compete initiative to increase the number of students who complete college degrees and certificates. Complete to Compete will create a set of common higher education completion and productivity measures that states can use to monitor their progress and compare performance to other states and among institutions. The NGA initiative will identify best practices and list policy options governors can take to increase college completion. Complete to Compete also will offer grants to states to design policies and programs that increase college completion and improve higher education productivity. The initiative plans to hold a learning institute for governors' senior advisors in education, workforce and economic development on successful state strategies that result in graduating more students and meeting workforce demands.
Ohio Seeds EL/C Success With Data Base of Lesson Plans
The Ohio Board of Regents is creating a data base of stand-alone English literacy/civics (EL/C) lessons ready to download from a central location and use immediately in the classroom. Programs that receive Ohio’s EL/C grants funded under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) are required to contribute 10 of their most successful EL/C lessons to the state’s library of plans. Nearly 40 lessons currently are organized online around a predetermined list of EL/C objectives. They are based on a standard lesson plan template that includes the Ohio’s English language learning standards and benchmarks. Plans are vetted by the Northeast Adult Basic and Literacy Education (NEABLE) Resource Center before they are posted in the EL/C data base on the NEABLE Center’s website. Lessons in the database are organized by categories: rights and responsibilities of citizenship, civics participation, and U.S. history and government and citizenship preparation.