Implementing State Adult Education Content Standards June 9 - 20, 2008

Beginning on Monday, June 9th, and continuing through Friday, June 20th, 2008 on the National Institute for Literacy Special Topics list, we will discuss the implementation of state adult education content standards. Experts from several states have been invited to talk about the opportunities and challenges they have experienced as they work with teachers, administrators and others who are developing curriculum, and designing and teaching lessons that reflect the content standards. Our guests include: Miriam Kroeger, from Arizona; Raye Nell Spillman, from Louisiana; Karen Lisch Gianninoto, from Maryland; Judy Franks, from Ohio; Pam Blundel, from Oklahoma; Philip Anderson, from Florida; and Federico Salas, from Texas.

I hope you will join us for this discussion. You will find background information on several of our guest experts below.

Background on Discussion Guests

Pam Blundell has been involved in Oklahoma's development and implementation of content standards since 2002-2003 when the state held its first discussions around the possibility of introducing the Equipped for the Future (EFF) teaching and learning system to the field. Pam was given the task of overseeing the state's first EFF pilot project in 2003-2004. During the EFF pilot year, the state decided to expand the EFF training and officially adopt EFF content standards statewide. At that time, Pam was asked to coordinate this long-term process. Pam has continued to be directly involved in the implementation and oversight of the integration of content standards into the adult education classroom. This process has involved the development of new tools and training processes and most recently, leading the state's Standards-In-Action (SIA) team. Prior to coming to the state, Pam worked as an adult education teacher integrating EFF standards into instruction.

Judy Franks is currently on staff at the Ohio Literacy Resource Center as a Literacy Projects Coordinator. She was involved originally with the Equipped for the Future (EFF) Standards-based System Reform Initiative, coordinating the Ohio Research Field Sites and training as a Certified State Facilitator. Judy has had experience developing and working with the standards at the program, state, and national levels. As a veteran instructor of training and development courses, Judy's background in adult basic education since 1992 includes family literacy, GED classroom instruction and the development of a workforce training program.

Karen Lisch Gianninoto's involvement with the Maryland Content Standards for Adults ESL/ESOL began when she was working part-time as an ESL instructor. She "was one of the teachers complaining from the field that we needed standards". As a full time high school teacher, she knew how helpful standards were in guiding instruction. Not long after, she was appointed to the ESL Workgroup that developed the content standards document.

Four years ago, she became the ESL Specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education. When she took the position, she was "grateful the content standards were finished. Little did I know that my work was just beginning. Over the past four years, the content standards have been revised three times, the ESL content standards have been implemented in all of Maryland's programs, state trainers have completed a training process, and a training manual was completed. Yet, there is more to learn about standards. Maryland has been most fortunate to participate in the CAELA and SIA Projects funded through OVAE. These projects have helped Maryland refine our training and provided instructors with the tools to understand content standards."

Miriam Kroeger has been involved in Adult Education as a volunteer, teacher, coordinator, administrator and specialist since 1972 and in Arizona since 1978. She has taught adult English learners and adults studying for their secondary school credential at a variety of locations including elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, jails, and prisons; she works with K-12 and adult educators, and has visited teachers throughout the state of Arizona. Miriam has served on state, regional and national committees; on the boards of the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning, the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association and Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has been on national working groups involved with adult education standards and teacher development and was an original team member in the development and implementation of Arizona's Standards for Adult Learners. She was also a member of the Standards Specialist/Resource Teachers team that assisted programs and instructors in the implementation of the standards. As an Education Program Specialist in the Arizona Department of Education, Adult Education Services unit during the past six years, one of her responsibilities was to spearhead the revisions to the Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies and ELAA (ESOL) Arizona Adult Education Standards. These revisions were published in December 2007, and the training process in understanding and utilizing the standards continues.

Raye Nell D. Spillman has worked in the Louisiana State Department of Education, Office of School and Community Support, Adult and Family Literacy Services for four years. Ms. Spillman holds an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in the field of education. She has taught in the K-12 public education system and served on numerous committees to advance the education of children and adults. After the approval and adoption of The Louisiana Adult Education Content Standards in October 2006, Ms. Spillman was instrumental in introducing the standards to adult education instructors across the state in collaboration with the Louisiana Association for Public, Community and Adult Education. The following summer, Louisiana applied for and was one of six states accepted to participate in OVAE's Standards-in-Action (SIA) project. Ms. Spillman headed the Louisiana team who accepted their charge to pilot test training materials for implementing adult education standards use in the classroom. Again this year, Ms. Spillman and the Louisiana team are looking forward to participating in Part 2 of the Standards-in-Action project.