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Changes in the Adult Education Office

Posted on 08/24/2011

Debra Jones
Debra Jones

Debra Jones, Administrator of the Adult Education Office at the California Department of Education (CDE), will be leaving her position September 30 to move to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office as part of an interagency agreement between CDE and the Chancellor’s Office. At the Chancellor’s Office she will serve as a liaison between the two agencies to facilitate a deeper partnership in the area of workforce development. The CDE has begun the process to hire a new administrator to replace Debra.

Ms. Jones has served as the Adult Education Administrator at CDE since 2007, and has overseen a very difficult period in the history of California Adult Education. She has worked closely with California adult educators and with the Office of Vocational and Adult Education in Washington to improve student outcomes, reflected in the fact that California met all its federal goals in 2009-10.

She also put into motion the process of developing a strategic plan for adult education in the state, the result of which is the report Linking Adults to Opportunity: Transformation of the California Department of Education Adult Education Program, which provides a detailed analysis of the need for adult education in California, and a blueprint for action to redesign the system to meet that need. The plan reflects the best thinking of many stakeholders — adult education teachers, administrators, and professional organizations, as well as a panel of experts from outside adult education. The plan will soon be offered for public comment through meetings in the north and south of the state.

The move of Ms. Jones to the Chancellor’s Office is part of a major reorganization of the entire Department of Education which is also scheduled to take place on October 1, 2011. The Adult Education Office will be in a new division, Coordinated Student Support & Adult Education Division, with Gordon Jackson as the director. This division will be included in a branch, overseen by William Ellerbee, that also includes Special Education, Nutrition Services, State Special Schools and Services, and After School.

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