Archive for February, 2011

COABE Conference to be held at Union Boycotted Hotel

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This year, the attendees of the COABE Conference in San Francisco might have to cross a picket line to get to their workshops, plenaries, and networking sessions.

That’s because the Hilton San Francisco Union Square is currently under boycott by the UNITE/HERE hotel and restaurant workers union.

Photo courtesy of UNITE HERE Local 2

Despite Hilton’s parent company, Blackstone Group, having recently received many millions of taxpayer dollars in Federal bailout money, Hilton is demanding benefit and pension cuts from its workers, a 40% workload increase, and no raises. Yet Blackstone saw an increase in net income of 23% last quarter. Workers, who are the San Francisco counterparts of our ABE and ESOL students, are currently working without a contract. By any measure, this is not fair or just. (more…)

GED Math and the Accuplacer: How Much Can We Reasonably Take On?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

by Cathy Coleman

Have you heard about the Accuplacer and the GED? Recent research indicates there is a rather large gap between GED math and what’s tested on the Accuplacer (the test used by colleges to place students in college level or developmental level math). Students can pass the GED and still get stuck in developmental courses, taking and failing them over and over, using up precious financial aid, getting increasingly discouraged, and eventually giving up on their college dreams. This presents a problem for many of our college bound students, and our field is wisely beginning to talk about the issue.

So. how is this related to working conditions in ABE? For me, the recent buzz about this issue illustrates important issues about us as a field – about the questions we ask… and the questions we don’t. (more…)