Educate & Elevate Kickoff  Webinar

Get Connected - Get the Tools - Get Ready

The system of 55,000+ adult education leaders stand united in a national campaign to educate policy makers about the importance of investing in adult education and moving opportunities forward for all Americans to achieve economic mobility.
We hope you will plan to join us for a live webinar to learn about this important campaign and communication tools to elevate your organization and build relevancy in the mission of adult education.
This webinar is the first in a series that builds the capacity of our adult education organizations to proactively and effectively use our campaign toolkit to tell our story. The campaign timeline, toolkit and events will be reviewed in detail, followed by our schedule of webinars with topics such as best outreach strategies to policy makers, effectively telling the adult education story, social media integration and much more.

Date: June 29, 2017
Time: 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Save the date for additional Educate and Elevate webinars:

  •  News Media Outreach - 7/5/17 2:00 p.m. EDT
  •  Working with Legislators - 7/12/17 11:30 a.m. EDT
  •  Hosting a Special Event - 7/19/17 - 2 p.m. EDT
  •  Social Media Strategies - 7/26/17 - 2 p.m. EDT

Don't Miss It! Exclusively for NDD United: Free Webinar on Proven-Effective Strategies to Influence Congress

NDD United is pleased that the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) has agreed to host two FREE Webinars (June 22 and June 23). Policy, advocacy, and communications professionals working for organizations involved with NDD United are strongly encouraged to participate.
CMF will share findings from its recently-released and ground-breaking report, "Citizen-Centric Advocacy: The Untapped Power of Constituent Engagement." This new study combines two bodies of research conducted over 10 years to collectively provide unique insights and identify proven strategies that the NDD community should be using to influence congressional decisions.
WHAT: NDD United Webinar on Citizen-Centric Advocacy: The Untapped Power of Constituent Engagement


  • June 22, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)
  • June 23, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM(EST)

WHO: Bradford Fitch, President & CEO for the Congressional Management Foundation; and Seth Turner, Director of Citizen Engagement

REGISTER: June 22 -
REGISTER: June 23 -
This FREE webinar will also touch on exclusive research, resources, and benefits provided only to CMF Partners in its Partnership for a More Perfect Union. (CMF provides Partners with exclusive research not publicly released.) If you would like more information about the Partnership, click here,

Free Training on PIAAC Data Analysis

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is pleased to announce upcoming training opportunities to help researchers use data from the OECD Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to address questions relevant to the skills and competencies of U.S. adults.

"Training Researchers to Use PIAAC to Further Multidisciplinary Research" is a hands-on, interactive training conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and supported through a grant from IES, the independent research and statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The training aims to prepare researchers to use PIAAC data and IES data tools for further, independent, policy-relevant research in fields ranging from education, gerontology, sociology, public health, economics, workforce development, criminal justice, and corrections education.

This August, ETS will be holding 3-day and 1-day PIAAC training sessions in cities throughout the U.S. These sessions will culminate with an IES/ETS sponsored conference in Washington, D.C. in December 2018, during which participants will have an opportunity to present their research.

What Does the PIAAC Include?

The PIAAC data, which in the U.S. was collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), includes information about adults' educational backgrounds, workplace experiences and skills, occupational attainment, use of information and communications technology, and cognitive skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving.

Who Should Apply for the Training?
The training is designed for researchers from universities, research firms, or other organizations (e.g., advocacy groups, local governments) who have a doctoral degree or are graduate students in a doctoral program, have experience with statistical packages (e.g. SAS, SPSS) and secondary data analysis, and have an interest in adult learning, skills, and competencies.

How Much Does it Cost?

The training itself is free for participants, and participants who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents will receive assistance to cover housing and food during the training. Visit the training website for more information about possible financial assistance.

When is the Training? How Do I Apply?

The next training will take place in Chicago, August 30th to September 1st. Visit the ETS training website for more information about the program and the most up-to-date scheduleRegistration is open and can be completed online. For more information about this training project, contact Meredith Larson, Program Officer, National Center for Education Research.

IES Blog:



Workforce Education
Prepare students for workforce success.

Contextualize workforce training within academic instruction to guide adult learners on a path to family-sustaining careers. Aligned with WIOA requirements, our workforce solutions integrate academic and occupational skills to prepare students for postsecondary education and training, and, ultimately, success throughout their careers. Learn more >

Education Budget

Click "Take Action" above, enter your contact information and click "SUBMIT" to preview the letter we will send on your behalf to Congress.

Click "Take Action" above, enter your contact information and click "SUBMIT" to preview the letter we will send on your behalf to Congress.

The Washington Post reports it has a copy of a "near-final" version of the President's request for the Department of Education (ED) budget for fiscal year 2018, with a total cut to education programs that basically matches what was in the President's "skinny budget" released in March (CEF's table shows the relatively few specified cuts and additions here).  The Post reports gross cuts of $10.6 billion for ED for next year, with a net cut of $9.2 billion below the 2017 level (note that CEF's table compared the 2018 request to the 2016 enacted level, showing a net cut of $9.3 billion).

The Post article includes some specifics that were not in the skinny budget, including two large cuts.  The first cut is eliminating the new student support and academic enrichment (Title IV-A) block grant created by the Every Student Succeeds Act to replace a host of categorical grants. It was authorized at $1.65 billion for fiscal year 2017, but funded at only $400 million in its first year.  The second large cut is to Work Study (the skinny budget said it would be cut significantly), which is cut by $490 million (54%).
The Post article details the following cuts that are in addition to those described in the skinny budget: 
Elementary and secondary education

  • Student support and academic enrichment grants - eliminated ($400 million)
  • Career and technical education - cut $196 million
  • Arts in education - eliminated ($27 million)
  • Native Hawaiian education - eliminated ($33 million)
  • Alaska Native education - eliminated ($32 million)
  • Promise neighborhoods - cut $13 million
  • Javits gifted and talented students - eliminated ($12 million)
  • Special Olympics education programs - eliminated ($12 million)

Higher education

  • Work Study - cut $490 million
  • Perkins Loans - let the program end
  • Student loan forgiveness for public servants - eliminated
  • Subsidized student loans for needy undergraduates - "take the first step toward ending" this
  • International education and foreign language studies - eliminated ($72 million)
  • Child care access means parents in school - eliminated ($15 million)


  • Adult education - cut $96 million
  • Office of Civil Rights - cut $1.7 million 

The article also describes some of the changes in funding for Title I - making $1 billion "portable" to follow children to other public schools beyond their neighborhood, among others.  We will, of course, provide a detailed description and table once we actually see the budget.

Horation Alger National Career & Technical Education Scholarship Program


The Horatio Alger CTE Scholarship Program is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for more than 1,000 awards of up to $2,500 each.
Eligible candidates must:

  • Have completed high school (or earned a GED credential) by summer 2017
  • Be enrolled in an eligible career or technical degree/certificate granting program in fall 2017
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a career or technical program at an accredited non-profit, postsecondary institution in the United States
  • Demonstrate financial need (must be eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant as determined by completion of the FAFSA)
  • Demonstrate perseverance in overcoming adversity
  • Be under the age of 30
  • Be a United States citizen

Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. All scholarship funds are paid directly to the institution on behalf of the recipient. The deadline for applying is June 15, 2017.

More information can be found by clicking HERE.
ACTE is a Strand Partner of COABE.

Education Helps Adults Earn More and Helps Their Children Learn More

Tom Sticht, International Consultant in Adult Education (Ret.)

There has been substantial advocacy by hundreds of organizations for implementing various pre-school programs for children from economically poorer homes across the U.S. for many years. This large scale advocacy has paid off with hundreds of billions of dollars being invested in pre-school programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and numerous others funded by both state and federal dollars.
In contrast, investments in adult basic education have been minimal, reflecting minimal advocacy primarily mounted by those most intimately involved in adult education, that is, adult program administrators, adult teachers, and their adult learners.
Recently, Grover “Russ” Whitehurst, earlier director of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education, has called attention to the broader focus on families, including both adults and their children, as a means of improving both educational and economic achievements for lower income families.
Writing in the July 28, 2016 Washington Post, Whitehurst said  he had compared: “… the effects of direct income transfers to low-income families (such as the earned-income tax credit, or EITC) with programs designed to increase school readiness (universal preschool and Head Start). It turns out that putting money directly into the pockets of low-income parents, as many other countries do, produces substantially larger gains in children’s school achievement per dollar of expenditure than does a year of preschool or participation in Head Start. …The results show that while the EITC isn’t specifically designed to boost academic achievement, it does so anyway — and not just for younger kids. The EITC is also a bargain compared with the programs specifically designed to help poor kids academically.” 
I found it particularly interesting that simply providing additional money to families not only helped the adults in terms of their economic needs, it also produced the collateral effect of stimulating academic achievement for the adult’s children. In 1991 I found a similar collateral outcome from investing in the education of adults. In research conducted in partnership with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) in Washington, DC we found that providing workforce education integrated with basic skills training for mothers on welfare not only improved the employability of the women, it also lead to intergenerational effects on the women’s children. This was true for both cognitive behaviors, such as reading more to their children, improving school performance, and non-cognitive behaviors such as greater motivation to do their homework on the part of the women’s children.
Later, in the mid-1990s,  I had the opportunity to again test the idea that investing in the education of adult language, literacy, or mathematics in the workplace could improve both the skills of the employees and the educability of children. In several manufacturing plants in the Chicago area staff of the Center for Education Resources in Des Plaines, IL had developed literacy programs integrated with job-related materials and I was asked to serve as an external evaluator of the programs in six plants. I found that not only were large improvements in job-related English language, literacy, or mathematics achieved, but with those workers who were parents, some 40 percent reported that they now read more to their children. This result, which is typically one of the goals of compensatory pre-school programs, was obtained as a collateral spin-off of the adult workplace literacy programs.
In his 2016 Washington Post article, Whitehurst rhetorically asks, “…if our goal is to help poor families, is universal pre-K really the best, most efficient way? The answer is no. …Perhaps it is time to rethink our paradigm for supporting poor families. Let’s give them what they desperately need — more money — and let them decide how to spend it on the early care and education of their children.” 
To this I add, by investing in adult education, we can help adults from poor families acquire the knowledge and skills they need to find work paying more money and  raise families out of poverty, and we can help stimulate the educational achievement of their children so as adults  they can find jobs and earn living wages above the poverty level. 
While Whitehurst may be right when he says that the earned-income tax credit (EITC) may help adults  help children achieve better in school, it seems likely that investing in the education of adults is a more cost-effective way to improve the educability of children.


Our Capitol Hill Day was a wonderful success with over 80 visits made to legislators and their staffers. Our joint public awareness campaign, Educate and Elevate was our mantra, and feedback from Capitol Hill Participants has been extremely positive. The last meeting of the day was with Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. Leaders from COABE invited the state director's leadership to join them for this important meeting. The meeting lasted over an hour, during which time the Secretary expressed her commitment to adult education while COABE and state director leadership shared important points relative to quality, endurance, integrated education and more. To review the press release from this meeting, click here


We launched a national advocacy campaign called Educate & Elevate at our national conference in Orlando, FL earlier this month. The campaign is being conducted in partnership with the National Council of the State Directors of Adult Education to inform policy makers on the importance of investing in Adult Education. We need your help! Please click here to make your voice heard. Also, please take a short survey to help us better understand what you would need in our Campaign Toolkit to conduct advocacy effectively and to participate in the campaign.

Social Media Coordinator for COABE Journal

The COABE Journal is looking for a Social Media Coordinator.

This is a volunteer, unpaid position. The Social Media Coordinator is responsible for developing and overseeing strategic social media and digital initiatives for the journal. You would would work directly with the editorial team to monitor the content of the information being disseminated, timeliness of online posts/activities, and congruency of the scholarly integrity for the journal.

A cover letter and recommendation should be included and sent to no later than 6/30/17.

COABE Election Results

COABE would like to thank every candidate for running. We know that running takes time, effort, and commitment. We would like to congratulate and introduce your newly elected Board members and regional representatives. Election results >


Grass Roots Press has an international reputation for publishing high-quality resources for adult basic education and English as a Second Language communities.  Grass Roots Press carries over 500 books, DVDs, and software packages.  We publish assessment tools, workbooks, photostories, biographies, and literature -- publications that enhance adults' literacy skills. Learn more >


This report focuses on budget and appropriations issues.
Congress is on recess for another week.
The continuing resolution (CR) under which the government is operating expires on April 28. There is a need to determine how the government will be funded for the remainder of the year. There is still a certain lack of clarity about whether there will be a long-term CR to carry funding through to September 30, or an omnibus appropriations bill (or bills) that will make actual funding decisions on an account-by-account basis. In either case, there may need to be a short-term  continuing resolution because work won't be completed by the 28th of the month.
Appropriations staff report that they have mostly completed work on the bills and that contentious funding issues and legislative riders will be hashed out at the leadership level.
We also understand that the appropriators have rejected the Trump administration's request to cut FY 2017 domestic discretionary funding to fund defense and to accommodate spending for the southwestern wall. The allocation for Labor, HHS, and Education has not been significantly changed, and it is possible that total Education Department funding could remain about the same, but there could be changes in individual funding levels from the House and Senate versions if there is an omnibus bill. 

Research Allies for Lifelong Learning

Research Allies for Lifelong Learning has just published the fourth (and last) report in its series of final-year evaluation reports on Adult Learner Leadership in Education Services (ALLIES). 

This latest report, Outstanding Leaders, reveals how being in the program, making a difference, and personal growth matters to new and experienced adult learner leaders.

Numerous leaders were designated as outstanding by program staff or by high self-ratings of leadership. The report investigates characteristics and attendance of new and experienced outstanding leaders, as well as contributions they made to their adult education programs. Topics in this report include ways in which outstanding leaders benefited adult education programs, workplaces, and communities; outstanding leaders' growth in personal attributes associated with leadership; and their assessed growth in critical thinking and writing approaches. 

Foundational Skills in the Service Sector

By Amanda Bergson-Shilcock

Across the United States, millions of men and women with limited reading, math, or digital problem-solving skills are holding down jobs across the service sector. Employed in retail shops and restaurants, hotels and hospitals, these workers not only help fuel the country’s economy — they keep daily life in America humming smoothly along. In the course of their jobs, these workers often need to read vital directions, follow safety protocols, calculate prices, supervise colleagues, and oversee budgets. All of these tasks are made dramatically more challenging for workers who don’t have strong literacy or numeracy skills. Many resort to creative work-arounds in an attempt to compensate for their lack of skills, but others struggle in silence. Their skill gaps carry heavy consequences for themselves, their co-workers, their employers, and our society as a whole. Read the full report.

Does Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand is Doing?

Tyton Partners is a partner with COABE

Rebuild Louisiana Adult Ed Schools

As you are likely aware, Louisiana has been hit hard by flooding. 5 adult schools were completely wiped out. COABE and LAPCAE would like to work together to help these schools. We will each (both LAPCAE and COABE) match up to $1,000 per school.

COABE, Commission on Adult Basic Education 

LAPCAE, Louisiana Association for Public, Community, & Adult Education 

Help spread the word!