|NEWS IN BRIEF
Adult Numeracy: A Reader has just been issued by CAAL. This is the first of two Council publications on Adult Numeracy, the other scheduled for release by September. The Reader contains four papers: (1) Adult Numeracy Demand and Provision (27 pp.) by research scholar Lynda Ginsburg of Rutgers University; (2) Policy to Improve Math Teaching and Learning in Adult Basic Education: A Perspective from Massachusetts (9 pp.) by Bob Bickerton, Senior Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Education; (3) Basic Skills in the United Kingdom: How It Has Evolved Over the Past Decade (12 pp.) by Sue Southwood, Programme Director, National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (NIACE) in London; and (4) More Than Rules: College Transition Math Teaching for GED Graduates at the City University of New York (a reprint from 2009) by Steve Hinds, Mathematics Staff Developer, Adult Literacy/GED Program and College Transition Initiative, CUNY.
Update on Workforce Investment (WIA). The anticipated August 3 mark-up of the Senate WIA Reauthorization bill has been delayed again, apparently due to some unresolved issues. We hope the mark-up will occur in September when the Senate returns from its August recess. Strong support for WIA continues to be needed from voices in the field. On the House side, both Republicans and Democrats are working on WIA reauthorizations, including Rep. McKeon's HR2295 and a bill under development in Rep. George Miller's office. CAAL is working to see that the new Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (HR2226) is included in whatever bill the House Committee produces. Obviously, whatever debt ceiling version emerges from current negotiations, there will be more pressure on domestic discretionary spending, including education--i.e., there will be implications for ABE, Pell Grants, community colleges, and development of the workforce system.
The Font for People With Dyslexia . According to a study by the University of Twente (Netherlands), people with dyslexia read with much greater ease and get better results using a new typeface called "Dyslexie". The Twente website shows how the visual representation of letters, including orientation and shape, is altered to make the font more user friendly.
Grant Opportunity From National Center for Family Literacy. NCFL will award 10 grants of up to $25,000 each in a program to help educational and community organizations provide support for Latino and other families to earn college degrees. The program is funded by the MetLife Foundation. Proposals are for projects to begin in January 2012. The First Stage application is due by midnight EDT on Monday, August 22, 2011. Successful first-stage applicants will be notified the week of September 12 and invited to submit a full Second Stage application. For more information and to apply, go to http://www.famlit.org/award-grant-opportunities/ncfl-awards/ncflgrants/ .
Literacy in Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities is the topic of the Jean E. Coleman Lecture given by Robert Wedgeworth on June 27 at the annual conference of the American Library Association. This talk by Mr. Wedgeworth, former Director of the ALA Office of Library Outreach Services, past president of ProLiteracy, and a member of the National Commission on Adult Literacy, is a compelling look at the recent history of ALA's involvement in library literacy programming. The speech reviews some of the gains and problems still facing the nation in adult education.
Poetry in Adult Literacy Instruction. CAAL's president recently launched a personal website (and blog), www.purplescooterpoetry.org, that includes a major section on the use of poetry in various adult education instructional settings. Some of the most compelling pieces in the site are those of adult education learners. She will develop this section (and some of the others) even more over time and to that end will welcome hearing from colleagues by email who know of programs or poetry that might be included. Among the comments posted on the site's blog are: "I am awestruck--every click of the mouse reveals a delightful surprise. This website unfolds like a beautiful poem itself, getting deeper and richer with each layer and each reading." And "Wow...a bit of gentleness indeed... although the words of the steel workers in the adult literacy section touched me most in my first reading. What a great gift...a surprise gift to us all."