John McCormick can be forgiven for not remembering too many of his former students’ names. The good work he has done for Los Angeles teaching English as a second language cannot be underestimated.
Learning good English-language skills is the most important step for anyone who wants to break free from low-paying jobs and a dim future. There is probably no way McCormick will ever find out just how many lives he helped improve. McCormick’s argument against eliminating adult education will hopefully wake somebody up at the L.A. Unified School District. Ending those programs would be counterproductive on all levels.
I taught English as a second language for many years. I suggest the following to preserve adult education: Charge a small fee to students, and teach in cycles of six to eight weeks, in which students can enroll only in the first week.
Yes, this is public education, which must remain free for K-12. But adults are accountable to themselves, teachers and schools. There is always a core group of students that takes full advantage of the opportunity to learn, but there are plenty more who do not and attend only sporadically. In keeping the classes closed after initial enrollment, a teacher can actually teach and students can actually learn.
Charging a fee may defray the cost of running adult education programs and allow people to continue their education.