[AAACE-NLA] FW: Re: WHATEVER IT TAKES
DJRosen at theworld.com
Tue Mar 14 16:08:13 EST 2006
Gail, Peter, and others,
After reading WHATEVER IT TAKES I am reminded that there is a big
difference between accommodating out-of-school youth in adult-
oriented AELS (ABE/ASE/ESOL) programs and providing excellent young
adult-focused programs for those who have left school. It is
possible, although difficult, to accommodate young adult needs in
adult programs. Programs designed specifically for young adults,
however, often offer them much more than adult education programs can.
YouthBuild programs, for example, (described in WHATEVER IT TAKES)
offer basic education leading to the GED or to a high school diploma
(YouthBuild Charter Schools) and they also offer: opportunities to
learn work skills, usually in construction or building
rehabilitation; an opportunity to have the work-related and other
projects be genuinely useful to the community in which the students
live; serious commitment to youth leadership training and
participatory decision-making; and a full-time teaching, counseling
and job skills training staff that creates a family-like (caring and
disciplined) atmosphere. Some YouthBuild programs are able to
integrate construction work, leadership, and basic skills classroom
learning, drawing on work-related problems in classes and offering
opportunities to practice what is learned in class at the work site.
These are not part-time programs. They require full-time attendance
and more. They are embracing learning communities, with high
expectations, a high degree of respect for youth, a high degree of
personal caring, and, yes, a much higher cost per student.
These young adult programs are often (although not always) funded
outside the AELS, with Housing or Labor money (and sometimes also
with Education funds.) Although many face the same pressures that
Peter describes. so far they do not appear to have given in to
"teacher-proofing," and "busy work." They do help participants to
pass standardized tests (GED, high stakes state exams, etc.) but they
do not succumb to teaching to the test. They do have a low tolerance
for inappropriate student behavior (drugs, alcohol, not fulfilling
work responsibilities to self and team) but they help students
understand and meet these expectations.
Much of what these alternative youth programs do, one could argue,
should have been done by the schools, and then they wouldn't have
dropped out. Interestingly, in some places, these out-of-school
youth programs are adopted, and funded, by the school system and lead
to a regular public high school diploma.
In any case, I am not sure that we should assume that the AELS is
necessarily the best option for young adult school drop outs,
although often it is the only option. Given the adult orientation,
and often extremely limited resources, "whatever it takes" may not be
possible for adult education programs trying to serve young adults well.
David J. Rosen
Adult Literacy Advocate
DJRosen at the world.com
On Mar 14, 2006, at 2:39 PM, David Collings wrote:
> The following message was sent by Wm. Peter MacMonagle, M.Ed.
> (Peter.MacMonagle at cpcc.edu).
> David C.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter MacMonagle [mailto:Peter.MacMonagle at cpcc.edu]
> Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 9:50 AM
> To: The Workplace Literacy Discussion List;
> professionaldevelopment at nifl.gov;
> englishlanguageg at nifl.gov; familyliteracy at nifl.gov;
> healthliteracy at nifl.gov;
> povertyliteracy at nifl.gov; womenliteracy at nifl.gov; workplace at nifl.gov;
> aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org; library-lit at ala.org;
> steurer1 at aol.com
> Subject: RE: [Workplace] WHATEVER IT TAKES
> To the group,
> Sounds good and I applaud the effort to reinstate educationally
> youth, but what we will need is a national effort to remove teacher-
> scripting of lessons from the classrooms and return to a more
> creative process
> of teaching and learning.
> If you want to know why students who could complete their studies
> leave school,
> check your list for: boredom, rote-lesson plans that lead to busy-
> work instead
> of learning, a failure of imagination on the part of professional
> education and
> the administration of schools, and a rigid zero tolerance for
> student behavior
> that classifies all infractions of behavior codes as some kind of
> Include here a disparity between the treatment of dominant culture
> students and
> monority students when it comes to suspension rates and the sense
> of failure
> that tells students it is not worth it to continue in the present
> pubic school
> system they must negotiate.
> This includes the rigid standardized testing that fails both very
> students by not challenging them, and the slower students who are
> shoved to one
> side for the sake of good scores for school's standing in the
> district. We also
> fail our language minority students by locking them into failure
> cycles by
> mainstreaming them before the have full competency in English. If
> you have
> resistant students in your classroom, you may have very frustrated
> I also believe we are afraid of the children in our schools because
> we have
> herded them into mega high schools with no personal attachment to
> peers,the school or learning. It is no mystery to me why the ones
> who don't
> comply with rigidity and lack of honest challenge act out and/or
> drop out. They
> are dis-affected because they are dis-connected.
> Ask this question also: Why do parents pull their students out of
> public schools
> and place them in private schools? Discipline(and lack of it)and
> the lack of
> teacher support from administration are not the only reasons.
> Wm. Peter MacMonagle, M.Ed.
> Central Piedmont Community College
> West Campus 2219
> Community Development/Workplace Basic Skills
> Murphy's Law of Possibility: All things are possible except skiing
> through a
> revolving door.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: workplace-bounces at nifl.gov on behalf of Gail Spangenberg
> Sent: Sat 3/11/2006 11:57 AM
> To: professionaldevelopment at nifl.gov; englishlanguageg at nifl.gov;
> familyliteracy at nifl.gov; healthliteracy at nifl.gov;
> povertyliteracy at nifl.gov;
> womenliteracy at nifl.gov; workplace at nifl.gov; aaace-
> nla at lists.literacytent.org;
> library-lit at ala.org; steurer1 at aol.com
> Subject: [Workplace] WHATEVER IT TAKES
> Many in the adult education and literacy field will find a new
> publication from the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) of interest.
> It is titled: WHATEVER IT TAKES: How Twelve Communities Are
> Reconnecting Out-of-School Youth. Its authors are Nancy Martin and
> Samuel Halperin, the latter a member of the CAAL board of directors.
> I recently learned from the U.S. Department of Education that a bit
> more than one-third of adults in federally-funded ABE programs
> nationally are the under-25 age group. (That comes from federal data
> on 2002-2003, and 2003-2005 enrollment reports.) The larger number of
> high school dropouts ABE programs have been seeing lately almost
> certainly will produce an increase in the one-third percentage.
> The report from AYPF -- published in cooperation with the National
> Conference of State Legislatures, National League of Cities, National
> School Boards Association, National Association of Secondary School
> Principals, and Council of the Great City Schools -- documents what
> committed, innovative educators, policymakers, and community leaders
> in twelve communities across the country are doing to "reconnect
> out-of-school youth to the social and economic mainstream." It
> "provides background on America's socially, economically, and morally
> unacceptable dropout problem" and profiles several major service
> Significant tie-ins are made in the publication to adult education
> and literacy -- see pages 4 and 165 among others.
> Copies are available from AYPF by phoning 202-775-9731 or a PDF
> version (181 pages) is available free at www.aypf.org.
> Gail S
> Gail Spangenberg
> Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy
> 1221 Avenue of the Americas - 46th Floor
> New York, NY 10020
> 212-512-2362, fax 212-512-2610
> National Institute for Literacy
> Workplace Literacy mailing list
> Workplace at nifl.gov
> To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go to
> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
> LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
More information about the AAACE-NLA