Montana LINCS Update
Greetings from Montana LINCS



1.  MTLINCS Research Item #4:  Research Quoted during Reach Higher, Montana Conference

Last week there was a two-day conference sponsored by MSU-Billings - Reach Higher, Montana:  A Time for Action.  During that conference, presenters encouraged participants to collborate and move beyond the "me", "my" and "mine".  They also provided several citations from a variety of studies.  Here are just a few:

Comments heard during Reach Higher, Montana Conference

Dr. Ron Sexton, Chancellor of MSU-Billings

  • In the United States our current generation will be less educated than their parents.

  • Adult Learners are the new marketplace for colleges.

  • Dropping out of high school is becoming the norm.  In the United States, there are 6,000 students who drop out each day.

Dr. Gail Mellow, Commissioner of Reach Higher, America report

  • The ability of U.S. adults to understand an editorial has dropped from 15% to 13% from 1992 to 2003.

  • By 2020 20 million individuals will need literacy training - approximately 3.5 times the number of people now in ABE.

  • We need to move away from "weeding out those we don't want to serve to finding unique services to serve them."

Margaret Bowles, Montana OPI Adult Basic and Literacy Education Specialist and GED Administrator

  • Ten percent of Montana's adult population does not have a GED or high school diploma.

  • Thirty-eight percent of those lacking a GED or high school diploma are between the ages of 16 to 24.

  • There is a $5,500 earning differential for those Montanans who have a GED.

Studies Cited during Conference

  • Reach Higher, America:  Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce, June 2008

  • Beyond Social Justice:  The Threat of Inequality to Workforce Development in the Western United States by Patrick J. Kelly, July 2008

  • Counting on Graduation:  An Agenda for State Leadership by Anna Habash, Fall 2008

  • Weak Education Leaves Americans Unprepared,, March 2008

  • Annual Report 2006 of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Do any of you who attended the conference have information to add?  What were your perceptions? 

Do any MTLINCS readers have any reactions to the information provided above?

Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS.

2.  Montana Content Standards


The Content Standards teams will be meeting this week in Helena.  Be sure to thank those colleagues who are taking part in this activity for all of their hard work.  As always, volunteerism exists in Montana ABLE!


3.  New Publications from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)

Refugees From Iraq

Coming Soon! December 2008

This publication provides in-depth information about refugee groups from Iraq, describing the various ethnic and religious communities of Iraqi Arabs (both Sunni and Shi’a), Iraqi Christians, and others. Topics include history, conditions in countries of asylum, characteristics of the refugee population, cultural features of each of the different communities, religion, language, education, and resettlement considerations.   

Pathways to Multilingualism:
Evolving Perspectives on Immersion Education

Edited by Tara Williams Fortune and Diane J. Tedick

Published by Multilingual
Matters, LTD.

Language immersion programs can play a central role in U.S. schools by providing an effective way to give students a high quality education and the opportunity to become proficient in more than one language. This volume explores how language immersion offers learners the opportunity to acquire language skills via "pathways" through the system that lead to multilingualism, including foreign language ("one-way"), "two-way," and indigenous immersion programs. Articles by well-known leaders in the field take stock of what has been learned about implementing immersion education, offer fresh insights from well-established immersion programs, and describe its practice in a variety of new settings. The collection serves as a significant reference work for both researchers and practitioners, giving readers access to a rich set of research and practice reports that deal with immersion education broadly and deeply. 2008 (286 pp)

Available online at the CAL Store.

4.  Where in the World Are You?

Click here ( to find out WHO MT LINCS has captured now?  Initials are DJ.  Keep watching!  You may be next!

5.  Special Topics Discussion - Distance Learning via Learner Web and USALearns - Exciting Opportunities!


Some exciting things are occurring in the realm of distance learning.  If you are not following the Special Topics Discussion, check out the archived messages at    


Learner Web is an open source resource that may a great tool during these tough economic times.  Check out a demo at  (Select "View Demonstration" to request a password to view the video.)

The Learner Web is a learning support system intended to help adults reach important learning goals they may have, such as obtaining a GED, improving their English, transitioning to college, preparing for a particular career, etc.  A learner can access the system through the Internet. In addition to on-line resources, the Learner Web integrates support services from existing local education programs, community based organizations, tutors, and telephone helpers. The Learner Web consists of a Web-based software system that is implemented regionally ... Steve Reder

USALearns is a national learning portal for English language learning at a distance.  Yes, it's free!  Check it out at


P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MT LINCS homepage at  .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!


Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101