Issue No. 15, April 19, 2011


Each issue of the E-News reports on CAAL's programs and publications, including follow-up activities related to the National Commission on Adult Literacy.  Occasional feature articles are offered, along with news about complementary work by other groups.   


In This Issue:      

  • New CAAL Information Paper
  • AEEGA To Be Introduced
  • Proliteracy's USCAL National Conference 
  • Breaking the Language Barrier: ESL in Greater Boston


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Work After Prison

WORK AFTER PRISON: One-Year Findings from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration is the first major evaluation of the multi-year "Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration" project funded by the Joyce Foundation.  MDRC is the lead evaluator in a team that includes the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focuses on programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help.  The project's purpose is to test transitional jobs as a promising approach to regular paid employment for ex-offenders and other disadvantaged groups. 


The 278-page report describes how the program was implemented--with more than 1,800 men assigned to it in four cities (Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul).  It also looks at results in terms of employment and recidivism in the first year following entrance into the program. 


A key general finding is that transitional jobs, as currently designed and operated, do not sufficiently help people get or retain permanent jobs, nor do they have an impact on recidivism. Only about one-third of the participants was employed in the formal labor market at the end of a year.  However, it is seen as a positive indicator that about 85 percent of the men assigned to the program actually worked in an income-subsidized transitional job, reflecting genuine eagerness to work.  And the evaluators are inclined to think that subsidized transitional employment programs could be effective if they were strengthened with components that provide basic and workplace skills instruction and if better job- and post-placement services were built in.


The project will be followed up for one more year with further results after which another report will be issued.  This report is also available as a 14-page Executive Summary. 


arrowToday CAAL released CERTIFYING ADULT EDUCATION STUDENTS: A Survey of State Directors of Adult Education On Certificate Programs in Use.  This 16-page Information Brief reports on the use of certification systems, as reported by state education directors, to validate student attainment in adult education and workforce skills programs.  The survey was administered and analyzed by CAAL Senior Advisor Garrett Murphy from June to November 2010.  It provides a partial snapshot of usage at a fixed point in time and was intended to help identify issues for CAAL to examine in a future invitational Roundtable on the topic.  CAAL's work in this area is funded by the AT&T Foundation the Dollar General Corporation, the Joyce Foundation, and The McGraw-Hill Companies. 


arrow AEEGA To Be Reintroduced in Senate and House -- The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act of (S1468, HR 3238) expired with the last Congress.  With some important refinements, the AEEGA of 2011 will soon be reintroduced in both the House and Senate.  Further details will appear in an upcoming issue of the CAAL E-News.  


arrow  Proliteracy's USCAL National Conference will be held in Houston November 2-5, 2011.  (USCAL=U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy.)  This inaugural conference will explore implications of national and state change in adult education and workforce skills development for local service programs, i.e., help local groups in the membership of such groups as COABE (Commission on Adult Basic Education) and Proliteracy understand federal and state policy and program changes in adult education, and at the same time help national groups better understand the operating realities of local groups.  More than two dozen major national and state organizations have signed on as partners to the effort including CAAL, Jobs for the Future, the Correction Education Association, TESOL, and Senior Service America.  For detailed information on the event, or to register for participation, go to


arrow  Breaking the Language Barrier: A Report on English Language Services in Greater Boston .  This new report from the Boston Foundation (92 pp) describes adult English language services in the Greater Boston area, with attention to area demographics, education attainment, service distribution by age and other variables, elements of the service system, gaps in service, and system strengths.  It makes numerous policy, research, and service recommendations to improve future reach and quality of service.  The report notes that the very people "on which our future depends are facing high hurdles in every aspect of their lives..." and observes that access to ESL services "can have a profound and positive impact on the lives of these individuals and their families." 




E-News is made possible by support from the Dollar General Corporation,

the Joyce Foundation, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 

Harold W. McGraw, Jr., and other individual donors


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