Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy
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June 5, 2001 - New York, NY - The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) today announced its formation as an independent new national voice for adult literacy in the U.S.

"Solid literacy skills, which millions of adult Americans lack, are essential for the well-being of the nation and for the effective participation of individuals in our democracy, in the workplace, and in community and family life," stresses Gail Spangenberg, CAAL's president and founder. "We look forward to working with others both in and out of government dedicated to the cause of moving adult literacy from 'the margins to the mainstream' of American education."

Spangenberg, former head of the Business Council for Effective Literacy, recently completed a year-long project to assess the status and lingering problems of adult literacy. With grants from The Carnegie Corporation and The Ford Foundation, she also explored the feasibility of creating an independent blue-ribbon national commission on adult literacy, developing a research agenda and slate of commissioners for it. CAAL is the outcome of that work and will build on its foundation.

Start-up funding for CAAL has been provided by Harold W. McGraw, Jr. CAAL's offices will be located at the McGraw-Hill headquarters building, at least temporarily. The public charity, which expects to achieve 501(c)(3) status soon, will conduct studies, analyses, and special projects, disseminate information, and undertake other activities to promote effective policy development and program improvement in adult basic skills and literacy. It will work for better understanding of and communication about adult literacy as an essential component of the adult education and literacy system.

CAAL will start with a period of intensive board and fund development, gradually turning its attention to strategic topics and needs at the national, state, and local levels.

It will draw on advice from a team of about two dozen professional advisors, many of whom were involved in the explorations leading to CAAL's formation and who will continue on in this role.

The CAAL Board of Directors will consist of influential leaders from the public and private sectors. Its initial Board includes former U.S. Commissioner of Education Harold Howe II, human resource development specialist Forrest Chisman (former president of the Southport Institute for Policy Analysis), international researcher Thomas Sticht, policy analyst Garrett Murphy, and Ms. Spangenberg.


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