Thursday, March 08, 2001

Board urges adult schooling

Cincinnati Public should keep classes, superintendent told

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Adult education classes in literacy, GED preparation and some vocational topics are something Cincinnati Public Schools should continue to offer, Board of Education members said Wednesday.

        In a discussion with district administrators, board members said Cincinnati Public is responsible for educating adults. Exactly how to do that — and at what cost — is still up for debate.

        “Now is the perfect time, as we talk about schools as community learning centers and we talk about providing all things students need to be successful,” board member Florence Newell said. “One of those things is parents with a knowledge and respect for learning.”

        Public school districts nationwide — both large and small — commonly offer adult education classes in everything from cooking to computer skills.

        Cincinnati Public has cut back on those offerings over the past 10 years because it was losing money on them. Superintendent Steven Adamowski has said that district spending should focus on K-12 education for its 42,600 students.

        But Mrs. Newell and other board members said the district should offer adult career classes at new high school programs, such as the information technology school and a planned vocational school.

        The discussion on adult education and what the district role should be was prompted by Mr. Adamowski's efforts earlier this year to end an adult nursing program and move adult literacy classes into elementary schools.

        Both programs were held at the Queen City Career Center in the West End, which the district is now leasing to a charter school and a day care center.

        The licensed practical nurse program will close July 31, when the last class graduates. The program faced a 60 percent dropout rate and financial trouble, Mr. Adamowski said.


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