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May 11, 2018

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Advocacy PDF Print

The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.” - Albert Einstein

Advocacy for Adult Education

One of NJALL’s primary purposes is to advocate for adult learners and adult education.  We have prepared position papers, organized meetings with policy makers, and created forums in which adult educators and policy makers interact.

We see advocacy as an important duty of all supporters of adult education. It is up to us to educate those who control resources about the value of adult education and how they can best use public and private resources to create an effective system of adult education in New Jersey.

Shown below are resources (documents, Web sites, organizations) which advocates for adult education in New Jersey can use.  This section will be updated periodically.

Advocacy Resources from New Jersey

“Basic Skills, ESOL and High School Completion Programs for New Jersey Adults: A Summary of Needs and Current Resources,” NJALL’s Advocacy Committee prepared this position paper in April 2003 to (a) point to the need for a well-organized, well-supported system of adult education in our state; (b) current gaps in the system; and (c) actions policy makers can take.

“Adult Education’s Role in New Jersey’s Workforce Development System” (Report from NJALL’s 1999 Pre-Conference Institute),

“A Balancing Act: Learner and Program Needs Versus Policy Requirements” (Report from NJALL’s 2000 Pre-Conference Institute),

Reports from the State Employment and Training Commission, ( ) This Web site includes:

  • “The Literacy Connection: Coordinating Initiatives to Improve Adult Literacy in New Jersey” (A Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on Adult Literacy Presented to the Commission on Higher Education and the State Employment and Training Commission):  July 1998.
  • “New Jersey in Transition: The Crisis of the Workforce” (Look under “Publications.”) This October 2001 SETC White Paper discusses the changing economy and resulting changes in skill demands, the “literacy gap,” and the need for lifelong learning.
  • Information on the State Council for Adult Literacy Education Services (SCALES).

Garden State Employment and Training Association ( ) . GSETA is a statewide professional organization for the directors and administrators of New Jersey's Service Delivery Areas, Workforce Investment Boards and other locally delivered employment and training initiatives.  "The Mission of GSETA is to promote leadership, knowledge and the advancement of  New Jersey's Workforce Readiness System and its professionals."  Adult educators are encouraged to participate in GSETA’s annual conference and other activities.

New Jersey Legislature, :  Key contacts, legislation, etc. useful to advocates interested in shaping public policy related to adult education in New Jersey.

New Jersey Public Information Network, : Contains information on workforce development needs and opportunities.

Advocacy Resources from Outside New Jersey

National Institute for Literacy, :  Contains information on federal adult education policy and collections and listserves (on-line discussion groups) on workforce education, family literacy, ESOL, and other special topics.  You can sign up for those listserves and the NLA List (a national listserv focusing on adult education policy) by going to “Discussions” in the “LINCS” section.  Also in the “LINCS” section:  connections to the various regional LINCS hubs and, in turn, state literacy resource centers around the U.S.

National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, : Go to “Publications” for useful documents for advocates, including “The Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy,” “Focus on Basics,” “NCSALL Reports,” “Occasional Papers,” and a report from the National Literacy Summit (“Summit Action Agenda”).   

The National Coalition for Literacy ( ) serves as the umbrella organization for the advancement of literacy in the United States. As the initiator, promoter, and advocate for national literacy improvement, its purposes are to:

Serve as an authoritative commentator on emerging literacy issues;
Sustain and expand public awareness and understanding of literacy and its relation to other social issues;
Foster collaboration at national, state and local levels among public and private institutions;
Provide a communications and coordinating forum for its
member organizations;
Encourage applied research and its effective dissemination;
Serve as an information and communications source for the public and for external organizations; and,
Serve as the leadership voice for the literacy movement.

Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy, : This non-profit public policy resource center has published several recent reports which provide arguments and information useful to advocates for adult education, including “Making the Case: Adult Education and Literacy, Key to America’s Future,” “The Federal Role in Adult Literacy: FY2002,” and “Adult Literacy and the American Dream.” 

ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education,  : This great resource center has an extensive collection of articles written by Clearinghouse staff (“Search ERIC/ACVE Publications” for “ERIC Digests,” “Trends and Issues Alerts,” and “Myths and Realities.”) and others which provide research and other information useful to adult education advocates and practitioners.

Boston’s Adult Literacy Resource Institute, The site of this resource center for Boston adult educators is full of resources useful to advocates.  Look under “Publications” to find back copies of the “All Write News” newsletter.  Also under “Publications” go to the “Special Publications and Presentations by David J. Rosen” and read “Adult Literacy Advocacy:  In for the Long Haul”, a keynote given to the New York State Association for Continuing/Community Education in April, 2002. 

System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES), : This site is a great resource of information on good practice and state policy.  Look for discussions on threats to the state budget for adult education and other policy issues.  SABES is a model of a statewide professional development system for adult educators.

Literacy Resources/Rhode Island, :  This site for the state literacy resource center in Rhode Island has information on a number of topics of interest to advocates.  For example, look under “Adult Learners’ Bill of Rights” (state legislation passed in 1999), “standards,” “welfare reform,” and “women and literacy.”

Literacy Assistance Center, New York City, : This urban literacy resource center has a Web site which provides information on current policy issues (e.g., “Response to the WTC Crisis,” “GED 2002”) and examples of how a city can organize adult literacy program data (See “Adult Literacy Information and Evaluation System, ALIES” and provide professional development opportunities for adult educators (See “Professional Development Consortium”).  Read back issues of the “Literacy Update” newsletter and “Literacy Harvest” journal.

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