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Issues Group and Task Force Reports
Criminal Justice Reform Issues Group
The ODC Criminal Justice Reform issues group (CJR) published Foundational Skills Education as a Fundamental Right for Incarcerated and Reentering Adults in November. This brief makes the case that foundational skills education is a fundamental right for incarcerated and reentering adults and recommends multiple solutions to support incarcerated and re-entering adults.
Labor and Workforce Development Issues Group
The Labor and Workforce Development Issues Group is in transition. We had a busy 2-3 years producing documents, webinars, and conference presentations to help our field weather the storms of recent years and prepare for a better future. Now we are doing some strategic planning about what we — as a small group of volunteers — can do to help our field better serve working people and our nation.
We have been adding some new members and we welcome more. To get a better idea of the work we’ve done so far, visit https://www.opendoorcollective.org/workforce-basic-skills-resources.html.
Come join us!
Immigrant and Refugee Integration Issues Group
The Immigrant and Refugee Education and Integration group has been fairly inactive; recently David Rosen offered suggestions for (re)energizing, engaging and connecting membership to ODC's work generally and to our concerns in particular, and which remain to be addressed.
Areas of focus include:
Moving immigrants and refugees out of poverty
How/do refugees and immigrants move from survive to thrive? What can we gain from research into economic barriers and strengths refugees and immigrants face. And how might a Biden administration support economic and other progress? What do entities such as The American Immigration Council offer in terms of data/research to make our case?
Digital literacy, equity and access
What can we say/how can we educate stakeholders about the needs to ensure access and inclusion to digital resources? What about digital navigators? Can we make a case for the importance of bilingual/bicultural advocates for inclusion across communities?
Possibly fundable projects
With Steering Committee approval, issues groups can launch funded projects related to reducing poverty (e.g., research projects, in which theories for helping immigrants get out of poverty are tested in various ways. These could be projects to help fill service gaps in models that could be stronger if adult basic skills programs worked more closely with a community health center, or a computing center to provide disease prevention and digital inclusion in their wrap-around services.
Next steps have yet to be determined.
The Older Adults Issues Group is in the process of developing a brief Make the Case paper, highlighting reasons why stakeholders must be careful to include older learners when advocating for and crafting policy around adult education programs. We are focusing on older adults’ literacy and its relationship to three main equity issues: digital literacy, health literacy, and community engagement. We will showcase data that makes clear the negative implications for the greater community when literacy needs of older adults are not met. Our aim in highlighting the ways that literacy affects the lives of older adults is to motivate stakeholders to ensure this population’s access as we work to build a more equitable society. It’s in the public’s best interest to ensure that older adults have access to adult education experiences, regardless of their status in the workforce or their relative likelihood of entering higher education and training.
Health and ABE
The Health and ABE Issues Group submitted a concept paper to the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation to request funding to develop and field test a scalable Digital Health Navigator (DHN) program.
Evidence-Based Adult Education System (E-BAES) Task Force
A small research agenda development group within the E-BAES task force has met steadily since fall. In late November the group put the finishing touches on a graphic of its research agenda development. The graphic highlighted the adult education ecosystem and laid out the research vision, approach, and steps that the small research agenda group discussed. In December two small E-BAES groups formed – one to start planning Phase 2 of the pandemic data collection effort begun last spring, and the other to consider a submission to an Institute of Education Sciences RFA on research networks. Both small groups will continue meeting in January and February 2021.