Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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1.    Montana High School Equivalency Test


The Montana Board of Public Education unanimously approved the ETS HiSET as the high school equivalency test beginning January 1, 2014. I have listed below the major highlights of this assessment. The OPI will begin contract work with ETS very soon; all the details will be discussed at that time. Check out their Web site-the link is at the bottom of the page.

Margaret Bowles


Highlights of the ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)




·       $50 (to include two free retests in a calendar year)

·       Services can include:  registration, accommodations, scoring, diagnostic score reports, and transcripts.


Phased in Test


Phase I

·       2014-15 test is similar to current GED.

·       Students will be allowed to use 2002 individual test battery scores to combine with HiSET test batteries.

·       Compatible with current professional development materials.


Phase II

·       2013-2015 ETS will work collaboratively with MT to develop a college/career ready assessment aligned to the common core.  


Test Centers 


·       OPI will continue to be the entity that approves testing centers. 

·       Approved test centers can administer the new assessment within existing infrastructure.

·       Computer-based and paper/pencil test will be available. 

·       ETS plans to meet with each test center during the transition phase.




·       ETS will help the state with the transition to include social media, radio, print, and television. 

·       ETS will schedule meetings with Department of Labor and other partners to help them with the transition. 


Smarter Balance


·       EST is working with the MT K-12 assessment developer; this will provide opportunity in the future to discuss connections between the HSE and the high school assessment.


GED Close Out


·       With the ability to combine scores with the 2002 GED series, MT can put energy and focus into the Phase II.


For More Information Visit




Please contact Margaret Bowles, if you have any immediate questions.


2.    MT ABLE ShopTalk Reminder


When:  March 19 from 11 to 12


Contact Carol Flynn for more information.


3.    MT ABLE Program Directors’ Only Meeting


WHEN:         April 9 – 10

WHERE:       Holiday Inn Downtown in Helena




Click here for an overview of AGENDA items and a list of “assignments”.  Please note that TABE training this year will be geared toward directors.

4.  MPAEA Conference 2013:  Winds of Change

Click here for information about the MPAEA Conference 2013.  Registration and Scholarships are also available on this website.

April 10 – 12

Cheyenne, WY

5.  Research Snippet: Adult College Completion Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education OVAE




Last time MTLINCS presented information about what local practitioners can do to support students in completing postsecondary education:


·       Link adult education course work, including developmental education, to college and career goals.

·       Address student barriers to persistence and completion through education and career counseling and student learning communities.

·       Use strategic partnerships to help students transition to college and address their diverse needs.

·       Use technology to enhance services by linking content to students’ college and career goals, saving time and resources in the long term.


Call to Action


… adult education state administrators and local practitioners need to prepare their students for the transition to postsecondary education. This work includes improving their students’ access to postsecondary education, the quality of their programs and services, and their students’ persistence and completion rates in college. As described in this tool kit, OVAE and other offices of the U.S. Department of Education have developed a wealth of resources and tools to help state administrators and local practitioners in this work.


Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.29 at


Before completing this summary of the Adult College Completion Toolkit, MTLINCS will provide one last overview of the Five Steps to Prepare for College.  Stay tuned!


Coming Next: Five Steps to Prepare for College

National Information

6.  Adult Literacy Deserves Focus

Taken from AAACE-NLA

You might be interested to read a March 14th opinion piece in the U-T San Diego online news by businessman and longtime adult literacy advocate, John Corcoran, who himself learned to read in his forties. He suggests that now, with likely immigration reform legislation, is a good time to put adult literacy in the public eye.

David J. Rosen

Click here to read Adult Literacy Deserves Focus:

Dr. G. Reid Lyon, former chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute for Health, estimates 5 percent of children learn to read effortlessly, while another 20 to 30 percent learn to read with relative ease when exposed to any kind of instruction. However, for about 60 percent of students, learning to read is more challenging. Their success is tied directly to the efficacy of instruction. Of those, 20 to 30 percent find reading to be remarkably difficult; how those children are taught to read is critical to their success.

7.  Math Discussion

Taken from LINCS Community:  Math and Numeracy

All LINCS Community members; especially those interested in mathematics and assessment; are invited to join a discussion in the Math and Numeracy group next week, Monday-Friday, March 18-22, honoring Myrna Manly’s contributions to the adult education field.   Click here to access the group.

An influential woman in the field of adult numeracy, Myrna was a founding member of the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN), and GED math exam item writer, representative on the international Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), numeracy advocate, and researcher in mathematics and assessment whose work emphasized the criticality of conceptual knowledge over procedural knowledge in mathematics.

Myrna authored and/or co-authored the following resources in the LINCS Resource Collection, a number of which will be used to complement next week’s discussion. Please join us to share your experiences in working with Myrna, her work, your own experiences with assessment and math in adult education programs, and any questions you have about these resources. Math and Numeracy group subject matter expert Brooke Istas will facilitate the conversation. 

8.  Technology:  “Everyone On”

Taken from AAACE-NLA

Sometime this month (possibly March 21st) there will be a kickoff for a three-year Ad Council national media campaign that grows out of the Click2Compete (C2C) initiative . I believe it is called "Everyone On". Adult learners and practitioners -- and everyone else -- can expect to see PSAs promoting digital literacy. C2C is a national not‐for-profit organization of leaders from communities, the private sector, and leading charitable foundations working in collaboration with the Ad Council, the American Library Association (ALA), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and other organizations, to increase broadband access to computers, the Internet and digital literacy training.


I understand that Everyone On will promote initiatives for low-income families (those eligible for free school lunches) that make broadband access available for about $10/month, and refurbished computers available for $150. I also understand that this initiative will encourage people interested in digital literacy training to go to their public library for help.


This is a great opportunity for adult literacy/basic education ESOL/ESL programs to work with libraries and community computing centers to figure out out to make digital literacy training as well as computers and the Internet available to all adult learners and their families.


It's also a good time for many adult literacy programs to figure out how _they_ can provide digital literacy instruction to all their learners. There is now a free national adult learner digital literacy assessment, called NorthStar, . In the nearly dozen states that now offer the Learner Web, , there are free digital literacy Learning Plans (curricula). Some libraries, funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), offer free digital literacy instruction. Adult literacy education programs that do not have (enough) computers for their students, or who cannot offer digital literacy instruction themselves, may be able to partner with these libraries.


The next three years should be a time when every adult literacy education program, regardless of the the kind of adult basic skills offered, assures its learners that they have opportunities to become comfortable and competent in using a web-accessible digital device, and that they can have Internet access from home, work, a library or an adult learning program.


David J. Rosen


P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS 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