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Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit
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Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit

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Presentation by Larry Good and Melodee Mabbitt to the Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit in September of 2013.

Presentation by Larry Good and Melodee Mabbitt to the Flint & Genesee Literacy and Basic Skills Summit in September of 2013.

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  • The most recent national study of literacy rates was conducted in 1992 by the National Institute for Literacy. It estimated that 35% of adults in the City of Flint were functionally illiterate, referring to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing, and computational skills in everyday life situations. Generally, those adults who score at Level 1 (on a scale of 1 to 5, lowest to highest) have difficulty performing such everyday tasks as locating an intersection on a street map, reading and comprehending a short newspaper article, or calculating total costs on an order form.
    The State of Literacy in America: Estimates at the Local, State, and National Levels, 2008. Data from 1993 survey.
  • Methodology from Center on Wisconsin Strategies, used in nationally and in Michigan.
    In Flint and the surrounding suburbs, 45% of adults aged 18-64 (59,532 individuals) need improved basic skills.
  • In the City of Flint, 51% of individuals aged 18-64 need improved basic skills. By contrast, Michigan statewide estimates using the same methodology are that 33% need improved basic skills. A comparable national study concluded that 25% need improved basic skills nationwide.
  • I talked to 28 organizations about their capacity to improve adults’ basic skills, asking about the skill levels they serve, how they assess and instruct learners, how they structure their programs, their relationships with partner organizations, and what they would need to grow their capacity. Here is what we found. (These were smart, passionate, hard-working people.)
  • Demand for improved basic skills is vastly greater than current service levels can provide. Conservatively, fewer than 10% of those in need receive any services whatsoever each year. And many of these 10% do not necessarily receive services over any significant period of time or achieve any learning outcomes, so the number of learners actually improving their skills each year is much lower.
    Service providers reported that consistent funding is the greatest challenge. They struggle to afford adequate technology, personnel, and to provide the wrap-around services that learners need to be able to focus on their studies in these programs. (childcare or cash stipends)
  • Low level learners are underserved. We know that 35% of adults in the City of Flint are functionally illiterate. Yet only 27% of the programs surveyed provide services for learners at these very low levels. That’s a result of federal and state adult education funding priorities with limited resources emphasizing services to learners closer to the level of solid basic skills.
    Digital literacy is lacking. Only 36% of programs surveyed reported offering digital literacy instruction. Digital literacy is a crucial skill for today’s workforce esp since GED testing is expected to become electronic-only in 2014.
  • Enrolling learners in the correct program is challenging. While the majority of programs surveyed reported the referral services, it is clear that programs struggle to identify which programs are best suited for individual learners or have capacity to enroll individuals in a timely manner. In order for referrals to be effective, we need better understanding across programs of services offered and when they have open enrollment periods.
    Programs struggle to assure completion and postsecondary success. While most programs maintain relationships with each other and with postsecondary partners to ensure learners experience seamless transitions from very low to basic skills to postsecondary education, very few people ever make these transitions, and fewer still ever complete postsecondary education.
    The vast majority of programs are not offered in intensive formats that are shown to yield quicker results. One key barrier to offering more intensive programs is the ability of students to participate in these programs with a closer to full-time focus, which generally requires a range of supportive services and financial supports. Approaches that allow learners to work while engaged in learning—like transitional jobs programs, paid internships—provide financial supports so workers can focus on their studies, while also providing work experiences that provide useful context for workers’ studies.
  • Programs are not equipped to address learning disabilities that are prevalent among low-skilled learners. Adult learners with literacy levels below the fifth grade, and especially those at low levels who possess high-school diplomas, very frequently face undiagnosed learning disabilities or require adaptive instruction to address learning differences. Currently, many programs are not equipped to accurately diagnose these challenges, and even if they are able to diagnose, many of them lack the internal capacity and specialized services necessary to address these challenges.
    The vast majority of program content is not related to employment. Most programs lack meaningful connections to employers which can provide on-site learning opportunities, financial support for learner activities (like internships), connections to employment opportunities, and concrete feedback on skill-building curricula. Employer engagement is critically important to developing contextualized curricula that demonstrate clear connections between basic skills development and future employment, which is recognized as having tremendous impact on learner retention in programs. TURN OVER TO LARRY
  • The Network’s strategy is based on the Collective Impact framework being used to undertake large-scale change in a number of communities across the country.
  • Leveraging Our Collective Resources and Services to Maximize Impact
    Recognizing that no one organization can address this crisis alone, the network will strive to operate as an integrated network of services. Partners will work to identify opportunities to blend funding, staffing, and facilities to improve our collective capacity. Partners will also work together towards raising additional resources.
    Common Assessment & Advising
    Community partners are willing to create a system for common assessment and advising services to improve referral services and support learners. This comprehensive system would allow information to be shared among partners, not done separately at each agency, so that all entry-points would be knowledgeable about the instructional services available in the community. The system would provide a basis for individual learning plans that are connected to career planning.
    Non-Traditional Service Portals
    Partners understand that since one of every two residents in Flint and the surrounding suburbs are in need of improved basic skills, a more robust effort to reach potential learners is necessary. Partners envision using non-traditions methods to engage potential learners, including use of TV, news, and other local media; library resources; and technology, including smart phone apps and web-based services for learning- non-educational settings.
    Networks of Support
    Partners recognize the need for individuals to be immersed in supportive social networks in order to successfully improve their skills and gain family-supporting employment. Creating a culture in which friends and relatives are engaged in supporting learning efforts is a crucial strategy to helping learners succeed. Face-to-face, multi-generational support groups and social media groups should be employed to this end.
    Agile Delivery
    Creating learning opportunities that are tailored to the needs, goals, and pace of each individual is critical. Programs should offer contextual basic skills delivered to meet “just in time” needs through flexible modes of delivery.
    Smooth Transitions at Entry and Exit Points
    Focusing on improving organizations’ ability to place learners in programs and transition from one program to the next. Provide learners with navigational help to identify the right opportunities for them, and provide holistic supportive services for the individual so that learners are not dropped from the system.
    Preventive services
    Programs and policies typically target parents and children separately, limiting their impact on the family as a whole. Dual generation strategies that connect early childhood strategies and adult learning strategies should be considered so that the network would be able to treat the family as a unit, and offer additional services to address barriers including childcare, transportation, income supplements, and peer support networks.
    Success Stories
    The network will build momentum with incremental success stories and facilitate peer learning and networking among service providers to accelerate the adoption of promising practices to address key issues.
    Restoring a Sense of Hope
  • Agile Delivery
    Creating learning opportunities that are tailored to the needs, goals, and pace of each individual is critical. Programs should offer contextual basic skills delivered to meet “just in time” needs through flexible modes of delivery.
    Smooth Transitions at Entry and Exit Points
    Focusing on improving organizations’ ability to place learners in programs and transition from one program to the next. Provide learners with navigational help to identify the right opportunities for them, and provide holistic supportive services for the individual so that learners are not dropped from the system.
    Preventive services
    Programs and policies typically target parents and children separately, limiting their impact on the family as a whole. Dual generation strategies that connect early childhood strategies and adult learning strategies should be considered so that the network would be able to treat the family as a unit, and offer additional services to address barriers including childcare, transportation, income supplements, and peer support networks.
    Success Stories
    The network will build momentum with incremental success stories and facilitate peer learning and networking among service providers to accelerate the adoption of promising practices to address key issues.
    Restoring a Sense of Hope
  • Transcript

    • 1. Solving Flint & Genesee’s Basic Skills Crisis Larry A. Good Chair, Co-Founder & Senior Policy Fellow and Melodee Mabbitt Director of Communication 1
    • 2. Who We Are & What We Do  Increasing economic opportunity and sustainable prosperity for people, companies, and communities  Helping states, regions and communities reimagine policies and investments that support work and learning in the 21st century  Engaging in public policy research, development, and technical assistance in the areas of education, economic, and workforce development 2
    • 3. Our Work in Flint & Genesee County  Exploring the formation of the network  Researching scale of problem and opportunities to address it  Writing a Flint & Genesee Literacy & Basic Skills report 3
    • 4. The Scale of the Crisis Percentage of population at Level 1 Literacy Source: The State of Literacy in America: Estimates at the Local, State, and National Levels, 2008 Area Percentage Genesee County 23% Beecher CDP 40% Burton City 16% Fenton township 4% Flint City 35% Flint township 17% Grand Blanc township 10% Mount Morris township 28% 4
    • 5. 59,532 Flint and Flint Suburbs Adults (18-64) Need Improved Basic Skills No High School Diploma 19,348 71 35 4 Speak English Less than Very Well 1,551 49 6 17,54 5 Percent of Adult population : 45% Low wages (below $27,478) and no Postsecondary Education 57,453
    • 6. 33,326 Flint Adults (18-64) Need Improved Basic Skills No High School Diploma 12,005 35 15 9 Speak English Less than Very Well 762 28 4 11,16 5 Percent of Adult population : 51% Low wages (below $27,478) and no Postsecondary Education 32,361
    • 7. Primary Research  28 organizations in Genesee County  Capacity  Skill levels  Assessments & instruction  Program structure  Partnerships, & needs for growth 7
    • 8. A Severe Lack of Capacity  Demand is greater than services can provide  Funding named as greatest challenge 8
    • 9. A Severe Lack of Capacity 9
    • 10. A Severe Lack of Capacity  Enrolling is correct program is challenging  Programs struggle to assure completion  Few intensive formats  Few supportive services 10
    • 11. A Severe Lack of Capacity  Many programs not equipped to address learning disabilities  Content unrelated to employment 11
    • 12. The Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal Imagine Flint in 2020 with 30,000 more workers who’ve built strong basic skills. 12
    • 13. Why Set This Goal?  Cuts the percentage of people with low basic skills to 25%  Brings Flint into alignment with the nationwide average 13
    • 14. What Happens If We Do Nothing? Poverty Rate for the Population 25 Years and Over for Whom Poverty Status is Determined by Educational Attainment Level Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Flint Total Less than high school 43.6% graduate High school graduate 29.2% (includes equivalency) Some college or 32.1% associate’s degree Bachelor’s degree or 9% higher State Total 29.2% National Total 27.9% 15.2% 14.2% 12.2% 10.5% 4.5% 4.4% 14
    • 15. What Happens If We Do Nothing? Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months (In 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars) Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Subject Less than high school graduate High school graduate (includes equivalency) Some college or associate’s degree Bachelor’s degree Graduate or professional degree Flint Total $11,757 State Total $17,171 National Total $18,794 $21,428 $24,625 $26,699 $21,243 $30,229 $32,321 $38,623 $52,145 $46,188 $64,207 $48,309 $64,322 15
    • 16. What Happens If We Do Nothing? Employment Rate, 25-64 year olds Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates   Genesee  County Detroit  MSA Lansing MSA 40% Grand  Rapids  MSA 52% No high school 34% High school graduate 54% 60% 66% 65% Some college or  associate's degree Bachelor's degree or  higher 66% 69% 75% 74% 77% 81% 83% 81% 48% 16
    • 17. Opportunities for Action Collective Impact calls for 1.commitment to a shared goal; 2.use of common measures; 3.aligning services among multiple agencies to help reach the shared goal; 4.active, highly visible communication about the goal and progress towards it; and 5.an organization that serves as the “backbone” to provide support to the collaborating partners. 17
    • 18. The Network’s Priorities  Leverage resources & services  Common assessment & advising  Non-traditional service portals  Networks of support 18
    • 19. The Network’s Priorities  Agile delivery  Smooth transitions  Preventive services  Success stories  Restoring hope 19
    • 20. Thank you! Larry Good lagood@skilledwork.org (734) 769-2900 Melodee Mabbitt mmabbitt@skilledwork.org (734) 769-2900 20

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