Preparing Adult Learners for the United States Census 2020

LAUSD’s Division of Adult and Career Education (DACE) has begun the process of creating new Civics curriculum for the 2020 Decennial Census. The curriculum will help adult learners overcome common barriers to participation by teaching students the legal and constitutional mandate for the census, as well as the importance the data plays in planning and funding for our state and local government agencies and support services.

The DACE EL Civics (English Literacy and Civics Education) team began working in April to create language and literacy objectives students would need to fully comprehend and participate in the census. These objectives include completing a 2020 Census form online, and responding to a census enumerator’s questions in person. Students will also learn about the laws regarding the census, including their required participation and the legal guarantee of confidentiality with regard to any individual data collected. The final focus is on teaching the importance of the census data, explaining its use not only to determine congressional representation and redistricting, but also to guide the distribution of approximately $675 billion of annual federal funding.

Once the “Language and Literacy Objectives” were produced, along with their correlating assessments, the new EL Civics Objective was sent to the California Department of Education (CDE) for final approval where, once approved, it will be made available for use by educational agencies throughout the state. Meanwhile, the DACE team is currently working on creating a package of lessons and assessments for use throughout the Division during the fall and spring semesters, prior to Census Day, April 1, 2020. The hope in the Division is that full knowledge and clear understanding of what the Decennial Census is about will lead to full participation on the part of our adult student population.

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