[Assessment 1342] Re: Tests vs. Self Assessments of Literacy

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Jackie Coelho jackie.coelho at gmail.com
Wed Jun 11 08:29:42 EDT 2008

There are so many thoughts and related topics in this discussion. I
have just read through them alI. One piece that I think seems to be
missing is the socio-economic influences which cannot be ignored.

I think it was Tom that mentioned subcultures, and the fact that an
adult may feel his/her literacy level is higher than the test because
he/she functions well enough within his/her community. It raises many
questions in my mind. Question that are perhaps out of the scope of
this conversation.

However, I will forge ahead with them. Is the test serving the group
that funds the test or the students? What is our ultimate purpose? Do
we want to create workers with better skills? Or better citizens? Are
these two mutually exclusive? Where is the overlap?

How do we address the issue of stagnant wages, and fewer economic
opportunities which can offset a desire to work harder? What fulfills
a person? Better wages? Ties to the community?

I am not suggesting that education has no value. That is patently
ridiculous. I do sometimes get concerned about the field's seeming
inability to address the socioeconomic struggles of our population.
Struggles that seem to be worsening, and cannot be completely laid at
the feet of a lack of education.

Jackie Coelho

On 6/10/08, Anderson, Philip <Philip.Anderson at fldoe.org> wrote:

> 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





> Please take a few minutes to provide feedback on the quality of service you received from our staff. The Department of Education values your feedback as a customer. Commissioner of Education Dr. Eric J. Smith is committed to continuously assessing and improving the level and quality of services provided to you.Simply use the link below. Thank you in advance for completing the survey.



> http://data.fldoe.org/cs/default.cfm?staff=Philip.Anderson@fldoe.org|12:58:16%20Tue%2010%20Jun%202008





> -----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

> children.


> 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.


> Regards,

> Katrina Hinson

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