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Highlighting Promising Practices


In June 2013, four adult education agencies received 2012-13 Promising Practices awards from the CDE at the CASAS Summer Institute California Consortium. They were Corona Norco Adult School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Mt. San Antonio Community College District and Rancho Santiago Community College District. In this issue, ABC Adult School’s International Day program, is highlighted.



Promising Practice Awards - Each year the California Department of Education (CDE) gives Promising Practices Awards to recognize California ABE, ASE and ESL adult education providers that have implemented strategies and practices to help students attain their goals. These practices improve program accountability, develop skills that students need in the workplace, promote collaboration and cooperation with other programs or agencies, promote effective student transitions, or have potential application in other adult programs. CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System) manages the Promising Practice Awards for the CDE by identifying worthy agency programs through the WIA, Title II program evaluation process, which includes feedback from WIA II Program Evaluation Survey responses, site visits, student learning outcome data, and reports from other adult educators. Award-winning agencies have performed at or above California State averages for the last two program years, or have shown marked improvement in all instructional levels. (For a description of the selection process, follow this link to a previous article.)


ABC Adult School International Day - Every year the ESL students at ABC Adult School present the culture, food, art, and traditional costumes of their native countries. International Day is a completely student-planned program. Students meet in groups according to their native countries to assign tasks and roles and decide what to present. Teachers are assigned to each country group but only to serve as advisors. In 2011-12, the event began with a flag parade, and 300 visitors walked through 19 detailed exhibits. Past exhibits have included a Korean drum performance, Thai fruit and vegetable carving display, and a Mariachi band.


Presenters wore traditional costumes and demonstrated everything from native dance to calligraphy to pottery. Students are given “passports” at the beginning of the event and receive a country “stamp” after viewing an exhibit. International Day was designed to give students a chance to introduce their culture and foster a greater sense of community and cultural understanding among students at ABC Adult School. It has built a greater sense of community and awareness of the different cultures represented at the adult school. Students go beyond the classroom and into the community by inviting community members to attend the festival, working with community agencies and churches to procure costumes and food, and inviting school board members to participate in the opening ceremonies. Support for International Day has been exceedingly positive, and the cultural awareness raised with this project has gone beyond the Adult School and into the community at-large.


Although International Day has existed at ABC Adult School for many years, the recent tie-in with EL Civics has led to increased student performance and improved outcomes.  In 2011-12, 92.9 percent of EL Civics students passed one or more Civic Objective Assessments and over 90 percent passed the Culture Assessment. ABC Adult School’s ESL program had a persistence rate of 77.2 percent in the program year 2011-12, surpassing the California state goals and performance average.


To see a video about the International Day program visit the social media newsroom at


*Note: In 2012-13, the California Department of Education (CDE) gave a Making a Difference Award to recognize an EL Civics program that taught skills required for citizenship and empowered students to take the initiative to make a difference in the community. CASAS managed this CDE award process, which was open to all EL Civics (Citizenship Preparation and/or Civic Participation) programs in California. Award-winning agencies met or exceeded California State Performance averages for all ESL levels for the previous two program years.