According to this report from Southern California Public Radio, the Los Angeles Unified School system is in the middle of “revamping” its adult education program. (This comes after several years of budget cuts, plus an unsuccesful attempt by some LAUSD officials to eliminate the program altogether about a year ago—an effort that was thwarted in large part after some strong advocacy by L.A. adult education advocates.) I have no idea whether this revamping plan is a good one or not, but, in any case, it’s encouraging to read that the business community is involved and engaged. I’m not suggesting that business involvement in adult education is a panacea—I’m sure it can lead to new headaches in some instances—but can anyone imagine any significant adult education system growth without a big increase in business support? Just look at what the business community has been doing to rally public support for pre-K.
At the very least, I thought this quote was terrific:
“We have to provide better adult learning opportunities,” said David Rattray, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce Development for the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. “For the business community and the economy to have what they to have the talent they need, and for young adults and adults in L.A. to have the opportunity they deserve.” (my emphasis)
These are the kind of quotes we should have seen during the media coverage of the PIAAC report two weeks ago, had there been a strong, focused effort to prep the business community on the data and demonstrate how strong adult education programs are working across the country to help adults increase their basic skills.
It’s not too late.