Reader Panel

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Become a member of American School Board Journal's Reader Panel, a self-selected sample of ASBJ subscribers.

As part of the ASBJ Reader Panel, you'll have a chance to add your voice to ours in print and online. Every month—and occasionally more frequently—we'll send panel members a link to a brief poll on a topic of interest. We'll report the results—including selected comments—in the Your Turn column of American School Board Journal.

Join the panel. We look forward to hearing from you!


Adult and Continuing Education

When asked whether your district offers adult or continuing education classes to your community, a majority of those responding -- 54.2 percent -- said “yes,” while 45.8 percent said “no.” 


Here is a sample of your comments about your experiences with adult and continuing education:

A few years ago (2006-2008), I had the opportunity to serve as director of adult basic education in our state (post-retirement phase), and I really learned to appreciate the program.  One of the successes was an 80+ year old mom who was attending classes in order to encourage her adult son (who was working through some academic handicaps), and in the process of visiting with her we discovered she had dropped out of school to pursue a job and had not ever completed high school.  With a bit of encouragement, she decided to ramp up the pace and complete her GED through the ABE program.  Math was a continuous challenge, and it took a few tries—and this very passionate senior mom completed her GED and received her high school diploma sixty plus years after high school. She said it best, "We are never too old to learn something new, and it is never too late to accomplish a task that is worth accomplishing."
Bob Gragg, Semi-Retired Superintendent and Consultant, Oklahoma

Our program is very old and run by a citizen group, but they are a fixture in our high school and remain a shining light of community spirit.
James Butt, School Board Member, Pennsylvania

It is always very exciting and satisfying to hand diplomas to adults graduating in June.  Their heart-warming stories of interrupted education, and finally getting their diploma from adult school, sometimes at the same time that their own children are graduating high school, are inspiring and moving!
Gail Monohon, School Board Member, California

Billings’ Adult Education has both the Adult Basic Education (ABE) literacy and Community Education (ComEduc) components.  Its ABE is state-recognized for its effectiveness and program leadership. ComEduc provides personal enrichment and workshop offerings, but also has Advancement, is a unique blend and synergy of ABE including WorkKeys certification, specialized workskills training for national credentials, technology skills to a level of proficiency required of the specific job training, and career planning opportunities. It is intentionally designed to be economical and short-term or part-time for the adult learner. Career advancement generates revenue and is a growing enterprise. It has the potential to become stackable certificates for college along with supplementary low-cost high school elective courses. ABE efforts have resulted in development of projects and services of value to the high schools for increasing graduation rates and decreasing dropout numbers. The projects and services to high schools were in credit recovery, alternative learning centers, and shared technology as a unique and highly productive partnership.
Kathleen Aragon, School Board Member, Montana

We have attempted this in the past and directly due to lack of participation we discontinued it.  We only currently offer several social classes such as basket weaving, yoga & zumba.  However, we consolidated several local Districts into having the avaibility to take multiple continuing ed classes; this has been a great addition to our offerings.
School Board Member, Pennsylvania

A neighboring school district has been offering adult education to its community for several years.  Last school year we petitioned them to see if their offerings could be made available to our community also.  They graciously agreed and we put the process into effect last school year, and are just now sending out our brochure for the second year.  Last year was successful for us.  Several of our community members took advantage of this opportunity.
David Keefe, School Board Member, New York

Adult and continuing education classes can only be provided by outside agencies (i.e., education foundation) due to lack of funding.  Our district does work with these groups to offer our community opportunities by identifying appropriate subjects of interest and providing facilities support.
School Board Member, North Carolina

It is unfortunate that I would answer “no” to this question.  I honestly do not know if our district offers adult education to the community.  If we do it is not known which would speak to the lack of communication in our district.  If we don't it is also our failure to ensure we are being a valued educational resources to our community.
Tichi Pinkney Eppes, School Board Member, Virginia