Growth and Setbacks in the Seventies
Produced in 2005
Music lyrics: Bee Gees – Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin' alive, stayin' alive, ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin' alive…
Description: Colorful disco floor pictured.
Narrator:The 1970's were characterized
by growth in adult education, particularly in the fine arts, crafts, music
Description: Photo of student
holding art piece; video of student working in arts and crafts workshop.
Narrator: Also in the 1970's, California educators became involved with the national competency based education movement.
Description: Video clips of several adult education classroom teachers in class; students graduating; students grocery shopping
Narrator: The concepts of andragogy
were infused into program development. The CBE movement emphasized an educational
framework relevant to the practical needs of adults. Topics were employability,
functional literacy, high school certification, or consumer awareness.
In the mid seventies, the Adult Performance Level, the APL research project
from the University of Texas, Austin, published its report on adult functional
competency in the United States.
The APL study took a new approach to defining adult literacy. Rather than reporting
adult literacy in child-based grade levels, it established a three-level scale
for reading and writing tasks which adults need to perform if they are to function
independently in American culture. Sixty-five life role competencies were identified.
The study showed that one out of five adults functioned with difficulty in today's
Description: Photos of students learning life skills
such as completing tax forms, grocery shopping, filling out job applications,
Narrator: The California Department of Education's Field
Services Unit increasingly encouraged the development of CBAE by funding
new projects with monies provided under the Adult Education Act. The process
to improve the delivery of adult education in California featured building
a field-based model.
Description: Slide showing new programs: CACE, CALCOMP,
ACE, Watts ABE Outreach, CLASS, ICB-VESL, L.A. CAPS, ICDS, NOMOS.
Narrator: 1978 was a pivotal year in California adult education.
The California Adult Competency Survey, also known as the NOMOS study, confirmed
the findings of the national APL study at the state level. In California,
as well as in the nation, one out of five adults lacked basic skill competencies.
Also in 1978, amendments to the federal adult education act redefined its
purpose as assuring "that all adults acquire basic skills necessary
to function in society." A competency based approach to assessment
and programming was adopted. Levels of adult functional competencies were
identified as an alternative to school-based measures of literacy.
Description: Video clips showing students learning
and instructors teaching competency based skills.
Narrator: Concurrently, by 1978 the flow of Southeast Asian
refugees, who first began arriving in 1975, had reached flood stage in California
Description: Photo showing refugees boarding boats
out of Viet Nam.
Narrator: One out of three refugees coming to the United
States chose California. Meeting the needs of these new Americans gave impetus
to California CBE programs.
Description: Photo of Project PREP – Pendleton Refugee
Education Program report
Narrator: 1978 was also significant for a dramatic change
in how California adult education was funded and a resulting change in programming.
Description: Slide showing funding after when Proposition
13 passed; revenue in 1977-78 was 2.6 million and after Prop. 13 dropped
to 1.8 million in 1978-79
Narrator: California voters passed Prop.13 property tax reform.
In the ensuing legislation, the adult education revenue limit was eliminated
and replaced with block grants to districts. Many adult programs were drastically
As a result of Proposition 13, adult education programs were limited to 10
authorized areas: English as a Second Language, Citizenship, Elementary
Basic Skills, High School Basic Skills, Parent Education, Older Adults,
Handicapped, Health and Safety, Home Economics, and Vocational Training.
Description: Slide showing picture icons representing
10 authorized areas: ESL = ESL; figures with flag = citizenship; 2+2
= elementary basic skills; algebraic equations = high school basic
skills; family figures = parent education; 50+ = older adults; wheelchair
= handicapped; red cross = health & safety; house and dollar sign
= home economics; and toolbox = vocational training.