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Winter Consortium Webcast and Focus Groups

Posted on 02/28/2008

On February 26, Debra Jones, Administrator of the Adult Education Office of the California Department of Education, presented two Webcasts on California’s participation in the federal Workforce Investment Act, Title II. A Webcast is a live video stream through which a presenter can reach participants as groups in their meeting rooms or at individual desktops. These Webcasts replaced the northern and southern Winter Consortium meetings hosted by CASAS. Each Webcast began with a short presentation by Ms. Jones, followed by an opportunity for agencies to submit questions via online chat, which were answered in real time on the Web cast. There were some technical issues in the first session that were resolved by the second session, and it is anticipated that Webcasting will be used more in the future as travel budgets shrink.

Debra’s presentation is archived and available from the CASAS Web site, along with her slides. A document containing the questions submitted along with the answers will be posted soon. To follow up on the Webcasts, CASAS will be hosting focus groups on a variety of topics, including ESL, ABE, EL Civics, GED, CAHSEE, CBOs, Jail Programs, Data Integrity Report, Adult with Disabilities, and Distance Learning. These online discussion groups replace the focus group discussions previously held face-to-face at past Winter Consortium meetings.

Individual agency data for 2006-07 is now available on the CASAS Web site, by going to California Accountability, scrolling down to Database and Research Reports, and choosing WIAII Fed Table 4 Performance 06-07. You will need to log in to the CASAS site to actually see the data. Agencies are encouraged to review local data in preparation for the focus group discussions. The discussion will be about the challenges to and strategies for improving student persistence and performance. Here are the discussion questions:

  • How does your agency performance data compare to the state data?
  • If there are differences, what factors may have contributed to these differences?
  • What trends (at what levels) have you noticed in your data over the past three years?
  • What could you change that would positively impact that data?
  • What are you doing to engage your staff in improving data collection and quality?
  • What are you doing to engage your staff in analyzing and using student performance data?
  • How has this affected student outcomes?
  • What strategies are you using to motivate students to persist in the program and  to meet their goals?
  • What has been your greatest success in positively impacting student persistence and  learning outcomes?
  • What can the CDE and the Leadership Projects (CASAS, OTAN, CALPRO) do to help you manage your data to improve student performance?

Participants can register for focus groups on the CASAS site.