[Assessment 1341] Re: Tests vs. Self Assessments of Literacy

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Anderson, Philip Philip.Anderson at fldoe.org
Tue Jun 10 12:58:15 EDT 2008

To add to Miriam's thoughts, we in Florida strongly encourage adult
education programs to pay a brief, upbeat visit when school starts in
the fall, and again in January to the K12 schools to give flyers about
the adult education program, the new schedule of classes, and to talk
personally with the principal or designee. Building a positive
relationship with a contact at the district level and in each school is
so important. Teacher recruiting opportunities arise in the K12
schools, and it can work well when circumstances lead to the evening
adult education instructor teaching the parents of their daytime K12 ELL
students. Schools are glad to send fliers home with children that
market the adult education classes, especially when the adult education
staff delivers them collated into neat packages for each classroom.

My experience working in rural areas of central Florida is that teachers
and administrators in the K-12 system become so overwhelmed with
mandates from all sides, any effort to collaborate works better when it
is portrayed as a realistic way to help them achieve their goals with a
minimal investment of time and resources on their part. Especially this
year, with Florida's drastic cutbacks in K12 school funding and the loss
of teachers in every school, our adult education programs will be very
effective in helping K12 schools achieve their goals. We know who the
parents are, and we know how to help them build a home environment that
fosters learning for all. We know adult education is win-win-win-win for
parents, kids, employers and school systems. There are many ways to
design our package to show our partners how they stand to gain in big
ways from using our services.

Philip Anderson
Adult ESOL Program
Florida Department of Education
Tel (850) 245-9450
Philip.anderson at fldoe.org

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-----Original Message-----
From: Kroeger, Miriam [mailto:Miriam.Kroeger at azed.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:52 AM
To: 'The Assessment Discussion List'
Subject: [Assessment 1339] Re: Tests vs. Self Assessments of Literacy

You might also want to ask your adult students if they have children in
school, what grades, and of course what schools. Ask them how their
children are doing. For persistent adult ed learners - keep track of
these "informal" stats, particularly if the children are attending a
school/schools close to your adult ed program. Then introduce yourself
to the principal and tell him/her that several of your adult learners
have children at the elementary school, and they are reporting that the
children are doing well, or improving. Does the principal see this?,
the children's teachers? Do they think there might be a correlation?
Would they want to work with you on a little "research project" to
confirm this??

Sometimes adult education is the best kept secret in the neighborhood.
-Miriam Kroeger

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Katrina Hinson
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 5:26 AM
To: assessment at nifl.gov; tsticht at znet.com
Subject: [Assessment 1338] Re: Tests vs. Self Assessments of Literacy

In his reply, Mr. Sticht wrote:
"It seems to me to be a national shame to spend billions of dollars to
leave no children behind, while largely ignoring the desperate need of
the children's parents and leaving them behind. How can this be an
inspiration to children to pursue their own education? How can parents
who cannot read 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
National Institute for Literacy
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