[Assessment 1338] Re: Tests vs. Self Assessments of Literacy

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Katrina Hinson khinson at almanid.com
Tue Jun 10 08:25:58 EDT 2008

In his reply, Mr. Sticht wrote:
"It seems to me to be a national shame to spend billions of dollars to
no children behind, while largely ignoring the desperate need of the
children's parents and leaving them behind. How can this be an
to children to pursue their own education? How can parents who cannot
be their children’s first reading teachers? Conceivably, if we invested
more in the education of poorly educated adults, we could influence the
educability of the adult’s children."

I think this is one of the key components that's missing in alot of
adult literacy programs especially in rural areas across the US.
Ironically, alot of adult literacy programs are unable to partner with
school systems depending on how or who governs the adult literacy
program. I know in my state, public schools in some areas see us as
direct competition with them rather than an asset - rather than see us
as a resource to help parents, we're the 'bad guys' who take students
from their classrooms - which is definitely not the case.

Parents are one of the greatest influences on children of any age. If
parents don't have a strong academic background, then he/she may not see
the value of encouraging their children to stay in school or achieve in
school and may be unable to help his or her child achieve. Likewise,
they may even be unable to locate community resources that would help
their children like after school learning programs or tutoring options.
There is a lot to be said about having better educated parents so that
those parents can have a positive impact on the future of their

The biggest hurdle though is how to remove barriers between adult
literacy programs and public schools (at least for me where I'm
located). Wouldn't it be great if teachers of low performing students
who had met with the parents and knew that the parents didn't have a HS
education or had not completed a HS education (that is asked on entry
paperwork at the beginning of the school year when we send our kids to
school - they ask 'highest education level" of the parents) provided
information on local literacy programs that the parents might could
attend? Think about the impact on a child who could see his or her mom
or dad learning and realize the importance of learning for themselves as
well? I don't know how to get there, but I do think it's something that
would make a positive impact on how ever children learn if we help the
parents learn as well.

Katrina Hinson