Kentucky Adult Education’s Standards Professional Development Resources: Webinar and Guest Discussion

June 24th is the start of the Kentucky Adult Education’s Standards Professional Development Resources: Webinar and Guest Discussion.  I am the host of this activity and the subject matter expert of the College and Career Standards Community.

Today we will learn how Kentucky is moving their students toward college and career readiness through their standards-focused professional development.  We will be introduced to Kentucky’s professional development resources and have an opportunity to ask questions.  You will be able to participate even if you are not part of the webinar because a weeklong discussion is planned around the following topics: Kentucky Professional Development materials, Kentucky Common Core Standards and Standards-in-Action.  This will take place from June 24th through the 28th.  Each day the discussion will begin with guiding questions and will feature Kentucky adult educators.  I hope that you will join the conversation.

Meryl Becker-Prezocki

Discussion Schedule

  • Monday, June 24 (2:00-3:00 PM ET): Webinar Introduction of the KYAE Common Core Standards and explore the KYAE Common Core Standards Professional Development Materials (registration closed)
  • Tuesday, June 25: Getting Started with Professional Development for Standards-Based Adult Education
  • Wednesday, June 26: Ask a Standards-In-Action Teacher Day
  • Thursday, June 27: Ask a Standards-In-Action Program Administrator Day
  • Friday, June 28: Open Discussion

Webinar Presenter Bios:

Gayle Box is an associate in the Strategic Initiatives Division for Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE).  Before joining KYAE in 2007, she spent five years as the lead instructor for adult education for Perry County, Kentucky.  Gayle worked on the KYAE standards for mathematics and was one of the two state leads for Kentucky on the Standards-in-Action project.  She served on the Council for Postsecondary Education Mathematics Committee, which was charged with reviewing drafts of the Common Core Standards (CCSS) as they were presented to states for input.  Gayle was also a member of the math panel that identified college and career readiness standards for adult education, as part of OVAE’s Promoting College and Career Ready Standards in Adult Basic Education initiative.  Currently, she represents KYAE on the state Committee for Mathematics Achievement, which promotes coordination of professional development related to the CCSS for K -12, postsecondary, and adult education.  Gayle holds degrees in education from Texas State University, and she spent 24 years teaching choral music in Texas prior to moving to Kentucky.

Joyce Bullock is an associate in the Strategic Initiatives Division at Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE).  She is a member of their professional development (PD) team and is primarily responsible for drafting and overseeing the agency’s PD service contracts with state universities, KET, etc.  She now has 10 years of experience in providing policy oversight, professional development, and technical assistance for Kentucky’s local adult education programs.  Prior to coming to KYAE, Joyce served as an instructor in West Virginia’s public school system and the Universidad AutOnoma de Queretaro in Mexico, and she was senior policy analyst at the Council of State Governments.







Thank you to everyone who participated in this afternoon's webinar walkthrough of the KYAE PD materials. For those of you who were unable to join us this afternoon, as soon as the presentation is available, we will post a link to it in this discussion thread.

In addition, there were a couple of questions during the Q&A session that were not captured in the PowerPoint slides so we'd like to share them in this thread and have Gayle and Joyce respond to them so that everyone can benefit from the conversation.

For Gayle and Joyce - 

1. Would it at all be beneficial to go through this exercise with a current core text for adult ESL to find where the text aligns with the Common Core? Or, is this more critical once a student has reached the ABE level?

2. According to SIA, would teachers eventually teach a set curriculum for adult ESL or would we still have the freedom to contextualize instruction according to the learner?


Spend some time in the materials here and post your questions about the resources or about KYAE's standards professional development in general.


We look forward to hearing from you!


The LINCS Community hosted a guest discussion and webinar yesterday showcasing the Kentucky Common Core Standards Professional Development Materials.  Gayle Box with Kentucky Adult Education delivered the webinar.  Here is a summary of the main points:

  • A description of the history of the Kentucky work with standards, participation in Standards-in-Action and the three-year Professional Development model
  • The pages on the Kentucky Adult Education website dedicated to standards
  • Resources were highlighted that included the PBS Learning Media, materials from years 1 and 2, PowerPoints, Facilitator Guides and Handouts
  • A look at the Kentucky Adult Education College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education and Unpacking /Aligning charts using the newly released standards
  • The plan for sustaining the initiative in Kentucky

The link to the webinar is posted now in the LINCS Community for those that could not participate.

A guided discussion will continue each day for the remainder of the week.  Today the topic will center on Getting Started with Professional Development for Standards-Based Adult Education.  Two Kentucky leaders, Joyce Bullock and Gayle Box, will host this week.  Some ideas to initiate the conversation may center on these questions:

            Where should we start with professional development on standards?                                                

            What are the 3 most important resources on the Kentucky site?                    

            What would be the most helpful to get the adult educators to buy into standards-based education?

Would anyone like to comment?


Meryl Becker-Prezocki



Good morning, Meryl and all.

I hope everyone is doing well this morning.  Here are few thoughts in response to your questions:

1)  My advice is to thoroughly explore the Adult Education Content Standards Warehouse, This site has such marvelous resources for the use of standards with adult education programs - a must for any state wanting to deliver standards-based education (SBE).

The next step is to adopt a set of content standards for your state.  Several sets developed by states are posted in the Warehouse.  KYAE is moving to OVAE's College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education because they represent an adult education version of the Common Core State Standards already in use across our state. 

Finally, decide on your goals for implementing SBE in your state.  Will everyone implement together, or will you start small and grow the initiative?  What is your timeframe?  Your state resources for delivering the PD?  Knowing the answers to such questions will allow you to consider your options for delivery.

2)  Assuming that one already has the SIA Guide from the Warehouse, I'd have to say 1) KYAE's Facilitator Guides with their materials, 2) the videos of our workshops and 3)the blank SIA templates with CCR Standards for ELA and Mathematics populated.

3) I'm afraid I can only give thoughts from a state perspective, but perhaps they could apply on a program level as well.  Several factors contribute to buy-in.  As I reflect on our past two years with this effort, these thoughts come to mind -

  •  I think the fact that the 2014 GEDR assessment is based on the standards has been the main motivator for achieving buy-in. 
  • Another reason has been the programmatic, collaborative team approach of our PD- everyone is working together to learn the innovations.  Also, the fact that the program directors have been involved as the instructional leader for their staff, attending every workshop along with their teams of instructors, has been a unifying element. 
  • I think it's also important for programs to realize that the state is committed SBE and will support the work of the field in this area.  Too often initiatives come and go - "the flavor of the month" idea. A member of our state staff has attended every workshop. 
  • Programs have to believe that their hours of work on the PD -to understand the standards and build curriculum that aligns to the standards will not be wasted but will result in better outcomes for their students.
  • Finally, change doesn't occur overnight.  Some programs jump right in and others prefer to test the waters.  The state should keep the message consistent and be committed to the initiative.

The enormous amount of resources that KYAE staff has provided during this implementation process has been wonderful. The PD has been second to none and I would like to personally thank KYAE staff (especially Gayle and Joyce) for making our travels through SIA managable. My instructor's are now beginning to see not only the advantage for the students we serve, but also how it gives their jobs more direction.


Hi Meryl,

Sure. The PD has given us direction in which we can all move forward together, instead of everyone doing things in their own way. For example, lesson plans are aligned to the curriculum which is aligned to the standards. Everyone is teaching the same material from the same lesson plan at our different locations. It is taking the spontaneity out of teaching, so the instructor knows they are teaching what is needed for the students to be ready for required assessments. The SIA process has taught them how to go step-by-step though creating units of instruction,  lesson studies, and relevant, easy-to-use lesson plans. We have a long ways to go, but I know we are heading in the right direction.




Just because there is so much material available, buy in can be over-whelming.  (I bought it; what do I do with it?)  I am investigating the site and resources for the "handles" that will enable my staff to grab on to the CCR and go with it.  The use of the unpacking template was one of the "handles" explained in the presentation.  As we discussed that tool this morning, we realized that it starts educational planning with the standard, disects it, and results in the activity.  If and when an instructor is book bound, the lesson could be used at the starting point and then the standards are searched for the ones that fits the activity.  The former is a more honest way to move the student forward with individualization and level appropriate education.  I have also latched on to the GED(r) Crosswalk from GED(r) Testing Services.  We all know GED(r) education must change, but where and how to proceed; this "handle" gives a starting point on how to begin.  My search continues because this year, we will be exploring DOK in our program improvement plan through the use of a study circle.  These handles and SIA structure provide grist for the embedding CCR and DOK in lesson plans and instructor's practice.

I would like to say that both the webinar and the website contain so much valuable information.  I am quite impressed with the planning and time that seemed to go into this project. 

Having worked in places using standards based instruction, I think that the instructors must first understand them.  The tools provided for unpacking the standards is great.  It breaks the process down in a simple way that anyone should be able to use. 

I also feel that when handed a pile of standards, it can be overwhelming, so know that it is okay to take the time to learn to use them effectively will go a long way for the "buy in".

Y'all are so far ahead of us!  We are a small Adult Ed school and the staff is comprised completely of part time teachers.  Because availability for meetings has been so varied professional development has been on an individual basis for the most part and each teacher has done their own thing, even in the same department.  Now more of an effort is being made to get departments together and the staff as a whole to improve what is offered to our students and get the staff on the same page, especially as it pertains to College and Career Readiness standards.

I see this guide as a wonderful tool and the videos of the professional development workshops as being something that could be very helpful in the professional development of our staff.  Each may be able to view those at their own convenience and later in a staff meeting specifics coudl be discussed that would pertain to and help us.

I feel that the unpacking the standards templates are great also.  I'm convinced that the more we work with this in staff meetings the more "buy in"  there will be from our staff.  Getting started and learning how to use the tools, as you said, will go a long way toward getting teachers to actually change the way we do things in the classrooms.

Hi Pamela G.

One thing I found useful was to take a participants role in the SIA process and just provide direction for the instructors, if requested.They were allowed to explore, fix, and adjust as needed. That allowed them to take ownership and responsibility. That most always creates buy-in.


Yes, Susan, that is a good point.  Since this is new to all of us we do take the role of participants and work through this process with everyone else even though some have made "samples" ahead of time to illustrate the point and present the idea/process to the staff to begin with.  So fortunately we have used this "method" kind of by default.


I was intrigued by your comments, and when I opened your profile I saw that you identified yourself as an ESL teacher.  As an ESL teacher in adult education myself, I am trying to learn more about how to implement the Career and College Readiness standards in adult ESL programs.  Have you had any special insights that you wish to share?

Phil Anderson

Adult ESOL Program Specialist

State of Florida Department of Education

The SIA process can be used to examine the CASAS or TESOL content standards.  Since standards-based instruction should begin with the first lesson, examination of the standards should begin there, too.  There is no need or benefit to waiting until a student has reached the ABE level.

One of the added benefits of SIA is instructors must reach a consensus when examining each standard and throughout the SIA process. They must agree on what skills the standard includes.  What are the concepts? At what cognitive level does the student need to navigate?  Does the current curricula and instruction provide sufficient rigor? Determining these aspects brings about a rich discussion between instructors as they consider and even argue the merits of the standards, determine lead and supporting standards, evaluate lessons and analyze assignments. 

It’s a powerful opportunity to revisit instruction.

I believe the SIA process expects for us to critically examine the curricula we use, determine any weaknesses and correct them, and then design or adopt the best curricula we can that will equip our students for the future.  The expectation is for us to strive for excellence.  

If you develop or identify excellent lesson plans that support the CCRS, please send them my way!



Thank you for explaining that the SIA process is a tool that can be used to unpack and identify lead standards within other sets of standards, such as the CASAS and TESOL Standards.  CASAS has posted a document on their website that describes a crosswalk that was done by a group of assessment and curriculum experson of the CASAS content standards and the Common Core Career and College Readiness standards.  The document posted there covers the higher levels of of Reading and Mathematics, and they are preparing another document that will cover the lower levels.  The CASAS website is

I want to express my favorable impression of Susan Pimentel's work on standards, having had the opportunity to participate in trainings she did through USDOE Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) in 2004, and again when she did PD trainings on the standards in Florida in 2007.  We had a group of 30 adult education practitioners (ABE, GED and ESOL) who benefitted from trainings that were very similar to SIA.  The KYAE materials portray this important work very clearly.

There is one point that I feel has been a guiding light to me personally as I began in 2004 to learn about writing standards from Susan and others during the trainigns provided by OVAE.  In one of the trainings it was explained, and I paraphrase, "Standards simply represent what stakeholders determine that learners should know."  The stakeholders, of course, and especially so in adult ESOL, include the learners themselves.  In my first classes, I thought it was entirely up to me what they should learn.  Over time, I have had the privilege to have learners who reminded me that they had some things that were important to them.  As more time passed, I began to see the wisdom of giving them more of the lead.  I say all this to express the following thought; as we enter into learning more and more about implementing the CCSS/CCR, let's not forget that these standards are one segment of our student's "education," and there are many wonderful things they want to learn.  As teachers, we can all remember clearly those students who had big smiles and tear filled eyes when they signed their name the first time, when they told us they talked on the phone by themselves, when they read a Bible verse in church on their own.  I remember a spouse who told a group of us that he came home and found his spouse (the ESOL student) on the phone.  He said that he exclaimed to her, "Wow! Look at my American wife!"  Our students have aspirations and wishes and needs that may not be spelled out in "standards" but if we truly pay close attention to them and support them in their endeavors to fill those, they will in turn enthusiastically work hard to learn the standards.

Phil Anderson

Adult ESOL Program Specialist

Florida Department of Education


Today is the third day of the conversation with Kentucky Adult Education.  We are very fortunate that the state of Kentucky has agreed to share their work with the LINCS community.  We are especially lucky to have two guest instructors join us today.  They are Betsy Popple and Rudy Rhoades.  Both have a wealth of information to share.  Please take advantage of their expertise and post your questions and comments.  I hope to hear from many of you!


A few questions to begin the discussion are:


  • What are you doing differently in the classroom as a result of your PD?
  • What has helped you the most?
  • Do you see any difference in the progress of the students?


Instructor Bios:


Rudy Rhoades is an instructor with Boyd County Adult Education in Ashland, Kentucky. Joining the adult education community two years ago, he has participated in both years of the Standards-In-Action Professional Development. Rudy has worked with his colleagues both in-house and throughout the state to help unpack and implement the Common Core Standards in the areas of Math and Language Arts. His specialties include the support and integration of technology in the classroom. Rudy holds a degree in education from Morehead State University.


Betsy Popple is an Assistant Professor in the Adult Education division at Gateway Community and Technical College.  She has been the Instructional Leader in facilitating the professional development activities for the Standards in Action for four counties in the Northern Kentucky region.  Betsy is a full-time mathematics instructor for adult learners.  She has served as a math trainer of teachers for KYAE.






In Kentucky, each program was given the task of unpacking about 50 standards:  about 35 were chosen for us by KYAE and we were able to select the others within our program.  We were given a month or so to complete the unpacking of those 50 standards.  Our team of four instructors met twice for a total of 5 hours to do the unpacking.  At that point, we had completed the unpacking chart, except for about 10 of the sample activities.  Since we were feeling comfortable with the process, we each volunteered to find or create a sample activity for 2 or 3 of the remaining standards and then come back together to share and edit if necessary.  After the formal PD concluded, we started looking at the standards we had not yet unpacked to prioritize the continuation of the process.

I would like to add that at first, the instructors felt that the unpacking was busy work.  After all, weren't we just re-writing the standards as they already existed?  But we quickly realized that breaking them down in this way forced us to process them at a much deeper level than just reading them did.  We thought we understood them by reading the standards, but we found that much discussion occured around "what is this really getting at?".  This was extremely valuable and would not have occured if we had not been working together.

That is a good point, I agree that this process makes a person look deeply into the standard which will be very valuable.  In my attempt to use the common core, I agree that I was just reading the standard and saying that it fit, but to be able to look at it and unpack it will make the effort more meaningful.  Thanks.


Our team's unpacking process followed a similar timeframe and structure to what Betsy had posted. We had also worked with two other counties, so we had set time aside for two face-to-face meetings to discuss the unpacking and refine our sample activities. These meetings were supplemented with e-mail correspondence between the various instructors and the coach.

It was true that it seemed overwhelming and even tedious at first, but after getting going we quickly saw the value in the understanding we were gaining and the dialogue that was starting. While we took baby steps at first, taking that month or so to unpack the one set of standards (which was typically a single chosen grade level per content area), it is now almost second-nature to start breaking down those standards when presented with a new one. Though the process may be faster now, the thing that has not changed is how we approach the task as a team.

I participated in the Math PD for our county with 3 other instructors:  2 of us are full time and 2 are part time.  We also had a team of four for the ELA PD, some of whom were duplicated from the math and others who were not.  The fact that the different subject areas were going through the process in two different terms (fall and spring) made it possible for instructors to participate in both if they taught both. 

The key for us was changing our class schedule to add in a "common time" each week.  For example, we have Monday/Wednesday classes and Tuesday/Thursday classes.  We created a two-hour block of time on Thursdays when there were no classes or labs scheduled.  Prior to that change, we were unable for all of the math or ELA faculty to meet because there was always someone teaching at any given time.  The common time allowed for PD activities, staff meetings, or lesson planning.

For certain activities during Units 1 and 2, our staff worked just within our team of five. Finding that "common time" was important, and we used the practice of setting aside a block of time two Fridays out of each month to focus on the standards. We would also spend a brief period discussing progress and ideas at our regular staff meetings. Email was used for group conversations throughout the week, as well as sharing and updating documents. We also had physical copies of the ongoing work that we would place in instructors' mailboxes whenever we had a question or an idea. So really, while that focused time was absolutely necessary, the real key for us was just keeping in touch throughout the PD.

Good morning, everyone!

@Meryl Becker-Prezocki

The resources offered in Unit 1 of the PD were especially helpful in understanding and implementing the standards. The unpacking chart was particularly useful, as it allowed us to break each standard down into meaningful chunks that had a clear application to our instruction. The incorporation and analysis of the appropriate Bloom’s level made it apparent that the process was actually focused on learning. The best part, however, was the development and sharing of sample activities. Rather than being left to wonder how we could possibly work the new standards into our classes, this portion of the unpacking process allowed us to leave with ready-made tasks to take back to our centers. This was invaluable, especially as the focus was on making these activities have real-world value to the students (for example, a “compare and contrast” activity involved researching local gas prices to find the best buy). This really helped with a critical shift in our instruction and has seen a much heightened sense of engagement from our students.

The aligning resources chart was also integral, as it allowed us to examine many resources we had already been using and see how well they could support the new standards. While we were beginning a fundamental change in our instruction style, it was comforting to see we did not have to entirely reinvent the wheel.

This is so exciting.  You have mentioned doing so many things we have wanted to accomplish in our staff meetings at the adult school where I work and the kind of help we have wanted to give our staff, all of whom are part-timers.  But, above all, you have mentioned more interest and engagement from your students!  There is a lot of attrician in our school and making our instruction more relevant to students' lives and getting them excited about learning and continuing to come so they continue and finish their courses is like the "holy grail" to us.  This is especially true with our ESL students.  Thank you for sharing what you did.

  • What are you doing differently in the classroom as a result of your PD?

Classroom instruction in our program has changed significantly, even though we have completed only two of the three years of the PD.  Simply put, it has created a focus for instructors.  Instead of feeling like we are assessment-driven (teaching to the test – whichever test that may be), we now have the framework of the standards to guide our instruction.  Of course, the beauty of being an adult educator is that we can pick and choose the standards that are appropriate and relevant for our students.

  • What has helped you the most?

KYAE has provided so much in the way of training and resources, but if I had to choose one thing that helped us the most, it would be having the time to work through the process as a team.  Some instructors took the approach of “What is the minimum we need to do to please the state?” but that was not tolerated by the team.  We felt that if we were to benefit, we must get into the nitty-gritty.  Sometime this resulted in passionate discussions, sometimes frustration, and many times those exciting “aha” moments when things just clicked or we found a unique way of addressing a standard.  One resource that was helpful when we got stuck was our Coach who we could email or call to get a response (you may remember in the webinar, Gayle mentioned the partnership with Morehead State University – our coach was an instructor in the education department there).

  • Do you see any difference in the progress of the students?

Sometimes I feel like we have a whole different type of student, but the only change I can point to is our implementation of standards-based instruction.  I have always been a proponent of the idea that students will rise to your expectations and I have witnessed that in this process.

@Meryl Becker-Prezocki

I have noticed a definite and positive change in the progress of our students. Implementing standards-based instruction is an ongoing process, one in which we very much value student feedback to the new approach. I recently tried a lesson focusing on various geometry standards (area and perimeter), teaching the methods through real-world activities such as planning a swimming pool, arranging furniture in a house, and modifying layouts on Facebook. When asked what they liked about the lesson, students responded that they learn better when engaged in an activity, especially when it applied to their adult lives. This may seem like common sense, but the enthusiastic reply and engagement I received from the students makes it worth note. At the end of the session, they even asked “Can we do this every day?” Hopefully, as we keep improving instruction, that will soon be the case!

Not only is it more engaging for the students, it is more fun for the teachers to use lessons that aren't lecture-based or workbook-based.  Of course, that involves much more planning time on the front end, but once you've developed an activity, it goes into the file cabinet to be used again and again.  I think one of the realizations that was overwhelming to us was how many changes we wanted to make.  So we just started little by little replacing old lessons with better ones.  The point I'm trying to make is, these changes don't have to occur all at once.  I feel like any movement forward is progress.

Within the lessons, did you focus only on one standard or if the activity allowed, more than one?  I think in the past, I took the activity and  then looked at the standards that matched it.  In this model, it appears that you choose the standard and match and activity.  With the first, I sometimes found I could go on and on and on listing the standards and that became a bit discouraging, but focusing on one would make it more measureable.

@Betsy Popple

That is definitely the case! Changing up the activities to appeal to different types of students keeps everyone engaged in the learning, including the instructors. That is a very good point about the work and effort for these types of lessons; it is a lot of planning up front but is very easy to maintain going forward. Like all lessons, the more you use them, the better they get! Once you get that baseline of your new structure, you’re set.


That was my impression going in, as well. I’ve also encountered the method of planning your activity to a curriculum and then seeing what standards it matched; thankfully, that isn’t the case here. This PD teaches us that instead of just linking our teaching back to the standards, it’s far more productive and intuitive to make them the basis of the instruction from the beginning.

This is particularly great, because you can most certainly use multiple standards in a lesson! In Unit 2 of this PD, we picked the standards that we felt were cornerstones of the content areas (as in, most other standards were connected and supporting to these main concepts) and called them “Lead Standards.” We would pick one Lead Standard (or two!) to create an instructional unit on. We would then back up that Lead Standard with a few Supporting Standards, which are other, related standards that support the main concept and mesh well with the lessons and activities you start creating. This was particularly interesting, as not all the supporting standards even have to come from the same content areas! We regularly mixed ELA and Math supporting standards, for example.

From there, we would look at the concepts we wanted to cover and then decide how best to create lessons and activities for them. In this manner, it becomes less “Well, how does this fit the standards?” and more “What can I teach with these tools?” This method makes it much easier to focus and measure your Lead Standard. Sure, you will teach and measure your supporting standards along the way, but this style of planning makes sure that all of that instruction supports the Lead Standard in the end.

I'm glad you brought that up.  Sometimes in our PD activity, an instructor would say, "I have a great lesson that incorporates that standard.  Let's just turn that in."  This wasn't the approach we wanted to take -- we didn't want to make our square pegs fit into a round hole.  Instead, we wanted to have an open mind and use the standard as, well, the standard, or objective, for the lessons.  That doesn't mean we threw away the baby with the bath water.  A good activity is a good activity and we were already doing a good job.  So we did use many of our current activities:  some of them were supplemented with additional activities, some of them were improved upon, some of them were put into reserves to be used to supplement new activities.  We found that having the conversations created lots of enthusiasm among the teachers.  We were getting great ideas from hearing what other teachers were already doing and we were creating great ideas from using current activities as springboards for new lessons.

In the second year of PD, we created unit plans and lesson plans.  In the unit plans, we chose lead standards, meaning the standard (usually one, sometimes 2 or possibly more) that was the emphasis for the unit.  We then identified supporting standards that served different purposes:  a supporting standard could provide pre-requisite knowledge for the lead standard (usually to review in an introductory lesson); it could be a related standard that was logical to address in the same unit; or it could be a standard that could be used for enrichment for students who are ready to move on more quickly (often the same standard but at a higher level or a standard from a different strand, i.e. similarity in Geometry as an enrichment for a unit in Ratios and Proportional Relationships).

Good morning, everyone.

I just wanted to let the group know that we've added Susan Pimentel's What's In and What's Out Chart to KYAE's CCR Standards page: under the heading CCR Standards for ELA.  Susan was a lead writer for the Common Core State Standards for ELA and the Project Lead and Author of the CCR Standards for Adult Education.  This simple table addresses the instructional shifts needed to teach the new CCR Standards for English Language Arts.  The chart was included in Susan's presentation at the National Center for Family Literacy's annual conference in April.

Also, we've posted in the Related Content box on the right side of the page the Power point with notes used in Monday's discussion webinar.

We hope you find these added resources helpful.

I'm so glad you found this link!  The Power point goes into just a little more description of each point Susan lists in the chart.  I was having a hard time connecting to the site so found the same Power point at and have added the link to our description on the KYAE CCR Standards page.  I wouldn't have thought to do a search except for your comment, so thank you.


Join the weeklong discussion with guests from Kentucky Adult Education today.  Susan Dixon, Eva Henderson and Contessa Love will be available to share their program experiences based on two years of intensive professional development centered on the Standards-in-Action Innovations.  You have the opportunity to ask questions and comment on any of the conversations.  I hope to see you today in the LINCS Community!

A few questions to kick off the discussion are:

  • How are the instructors implementing the standards in their daily lessons?
  • How did you handle instructors who were rather reluctant to participate?
  • After two years of the PD, what differences are you currently seeing in your program?

Program Administrators Bios:

Susan Dixon is the program director for Whitley County Adult Education. She has been with Whitley County since 2005 and currently directs and instructs at two full-service learning centers. Susan’s prior experience includes training and managerial positions in the manufacturing sector, as well as the development and delivery of several soft skills and quality assurance programs for the workplace through Workforce Alliance and Kentucky Adult Education.  Susan holds an Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree in Corrections and Juvenile Service from Eastern Kentucky University and has master’s-level work in Social Work and Child Protective Services from University of Louisville and University of Kentucky. Susan recently received certification in the PowerPath® System and finds it to be a necessary tool, especially with the literacy level and beginning ABE students

Eva Henderson

As director of Morehead State University Adult Education, Eva Henderson provides leadership for six Kentucky adult education programs. Eva’s career in adult education began 16 years ago as a paraprofessional; in this role, she went to individuals’ homes to help them prepare for the GED exam.  Eva holds a Bachelor of Arts in art and a Master of Arts in adult and higher education, both from Morehead State University. She is also a graduate of the Kentucky Adult Educators Literacy Institute.

Contessa Love is the Program Director for the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation (KEDC) in Ashland, Kentucky.  Contessa has 10 years experience with KEDC overseeing the Adult Education programs in 7 counties across the state as well as multiple mini grants within the division of Instructional Support.  She is certified in PowerPath, a research based system, which is used to help students achieve success. Contessa holds a Masters of Business Administration degree and is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts Degree in Adult and Higher Education, both from Morehead State University in Kentucky

Good Morning Everyone,

Just a brief background before I speak to implementing standards into daily lessons. About three years ago, our program began piloting managed classes. It was then that we began creating lesson plans for each particular class that was taught. After each 6 or 12 week session of classes, the staff would come together and revise the lesson plans as needed. So, a great deal of time, effort, and thought had gone into our lesson plans.

After going to the PD and learning the SIA process, we knew that we must incorporate the standards into the lesson plans. What we decided to do, rather than scrap all we had already done, is carefully review and break down our current lesson plans.We identified which standards we were already using and then began to plug in  standards that we had not been using.

Breaking our classes apart into three main categories has helped to implement the standards as well. We have Reading Foundation, Pre-GED, and GED.


Implementation of the standards in instruction would work well for a program in open enrollment, we are managed but we still don’t turn students away (especially in those smaller counties). Once the program goes through the process of selecting lead standards and aligning the curriculum with resources, lessons could be planned by standard/subject and grade level. These lessons could then easily be used in a managed or open setting.

I just want to share that we went to managed enrollment in 2008. I was very skeptical that if we didn’t’ enroll potential students when they came in, we would lose them. We continued to take students who absolutely could not come during the scheduled time, but had the instructor to complete a form we called 'departure from schedule' to track how many was unable to come to a scheduled orientation.  Since July 2008, we have had less than 40 that could not fit into one of our scheduled orientations. We are a medium size program that serves 636. Since we are conducting managed classes, we are finding equal results. We have open lab on Fridays.


We were in pretty much the same position Susan and, likewise, we went in backwards initially. It helped teachers' acceptance of the standards as they realized they weren't having to start over, just re-evaluate and revise (which happens all of the time).  Our classes are divided by content rather than level and the process of implementing standards has generated more team teaching across the curriculum.



Our classes are structured into content as well as academic level. We have Reading/Language Art Writing taught together in GED and Pre- GED groups, and then we have mathematics broken in GED and Pre-GED. Anyone who has a Reading level below 4.0 automatically goes into the Reading Foundations class, no matter their level in the other areas, because we have learned that if the students reading skill is that low, they are inevitably going to struggle in the other academic areas. Staffing is always an issue, so we try to best accommodate the majority of the students and still revert to one-on-one, in many situations.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

One important thing we have discovered while trying to implement the standards is that each level is just an extension of the grade level before it. Once we discover that, it became much easier. While completing the PD, we were able to choose one particular level and work with it. It wasn't until we received the flip chart that we really could see that the standards weren't really so bad.

For example:

RL.2.1 states-Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RL. 3.1 states- Ask and answer such questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.4.1 states- Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

These are three grades levels that just continue to stack the skills from the previous grade level.