Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

  Problems with the links in the email?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at

Montana Information

1.  Montana ABLE Fall Conference 2014 Notice and Survey:  Complete Survey by August 1




SEPTEMBER 22 – 23, 2014

Please mark your calendars for September 22-23 for our ABLE Fall Conference in Helena.  Details and lodging information will be forth coming.

Highlights will include:

       Working with our Career Pathway Coaches

       HiSET Information

        Reauthorization Updates and MUCH, MUCH MORE


Fall Conference is just around the corner, and I want every agenda topic to be relevant and energizing for all participants. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below. The survey will ensure that the 2014 ABLE Conference will be driven by participants’ needs and interests.

Please complete the survey by Friday, August 1st.  Thank you for your participation!

Margaret Bowles, Montana ABLE Director

Click here for the survey:

2.     Montana Moving Pathways Forward:  Watch for Survey

As indicated in the SAVE THE DATE notice about the fall conference, one of the highlights of our September conference will be the launch of Montana’s Moving Pathways Forward Project. Our project coaches, Judy Alamprese and Becky Dyer, will be flying in from Washington D.C., to provide a framework to begin action steps that will further integrate adult basic education into the broader pathways system development. It is important that they understand the current range of activities in the state to help determine their preliminary work with you. Within the next three-to-four weeks you will be receiving a survey for you and key staff members to complete.

We are fortunate to be working with Judy and Becky, as all the project activities are going to assist you writing your application to be a provider under the new law. All of our upcoming project work coincides with the new law; interagency, pathway work is the heart of the new legislation.

We are so fortunate to be among the 14 states getting ahead of the curve. Watch for the survey!

Margaret Bowles, Montana ABLE Director

3.     HiSET Blast

Most Current Information from ETS about Raw Score Change:  7/10/14

Conversion Charts for Practice Tests: 

The conversion charts for the HiSET practice tests are in the process of being adjusted.  Stay tuned!

1.   Effective date on the score conversion is July 14th, for all tests scheduled to take place on or after July 14th.  If PBT answer sheets are received on or after July 14th, they would be held to the original score tables.

2.   Test Centers cannot complete the process outlined in the TCA Notification prior to Monday, July 14th. It would be a futile effort, as the upload will be finalized late Sunday night.  Essentially, a test center would end up running the original package, and not the update, causing disruption.

3.   Customer Service is conducting outbound outreach calls to ensure CEs received the notification, read the notification and understand the process as outlined in the notification.  Their first priority are test centers scheduled to test on July 14th.  This effort will continue until they’ve connected with all of our test centers.

4.   Unofficial scores will not be reported at the end of the testing until after Wednesday, July 16th.  This IS temporary.  Unofficial score reporting will resume after the upload is complete and verified.


ETS statement on HiSET Standards Setting Governing Board  

Educational Testing Service is committed to the provision of a high quality, effective High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). To achieve this goal, we have partnered with the adult-education administration in states that use HiSET. ETS has appointed a HiSET Governing Board to help us set overall direction for the program, including the setting of standards for performance through a systematic and established standards review process.  The Governing Board has a senior-level representative from each state administering HiSET.

ETS conducted a HiSET standard setting in April 2014 which included educators from classrooms in 11th and 12th grade, adult education, and correctional facilities across the country.  The standard setting panel provided a performance standard recommendation for each of the subject areas.  In June 2014, the Governing Board met and reviewed these recommendations along with information about the current standards and test-taker performance to date.  As a result of this review, the Governing Board recommended to ETS an adjusted passing score, which ETS accepted and will implement by August 2014. While the passing scaled score will remain the same, the raw score on each test that maps to that scaled score will change.  

The adoption of a revised passing score is consistent with HiSET’s commitment to a phased approach to increased rigor over time.  The ETS HiSET program is a partnership with our states and continues to meet changing expectations for high school graduates and what is needed to enter the workforce or college.

Montana Note: 

Above is a an official statement from ETS regarding the scale score change scheduled for HiSET. I was honored to be part of the Governing Board meeting, and I can assure you this decision was made with careful consideration of the standards setting panel recommendations and state policies. All HiSET states had representation at the Board meeting. It was inspiring to see the ETS and state commitment to adult students.

Please call me (Margaret Bowles) if you have any questions.

Margaret Bowles, State HiSET Administrator

Save the Date — 2014 HiSET Conference

The first HiSET conference will include valuable information and resources for state administrators, educators, test center staff and corrections staff.



December 1–4, 2014


The Venetian
3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

More information will be available soon.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:

General Information


4.    Montana Resource for Pathways

Click here to access a good Pathways resources:  Career News from Montana Department of Labor & Industry.

5.    Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Signed into Law

There is no increase in funding for Adult Education.

Margaret Bowles, Montana ABLE Director

See links below:

National Information

6.  Career Pathways:  Progress Report on Pathways to Prosperity

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

In 2011, the Harvard Graduate School of Education released Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century. The report argued that our current education system was too narrowly focused on the goal of preparing all young people to pursue a four-year college or university degree immediately after high school, while other postsecondary routes to careers might suit significant numbers of students far better. In 2012, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on creating educational and economic opportunity for low-income youth and adults, decided to invite a small group of states to join them in creating the Pathways to Prosperity Network. The Pathways to Prosperity Network is now two years old, and this report is a letter to the field about what’s been accomplished to date.

7.  Corrections:  Webinar - Opportunities for Implementing New Technology Solutions within Secure Classrooms

Taken from LINCS Notice

From July 28 – August 8, guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Education, RTI International, and Peninsula College will share strategies and best practices for effectively using technology in correctional classrooms.  Information and resources to help you support the education and career advancement of under-skilled individuals in corrections with new technology will also be highlighted.

Some of the subtopics to be discussed will include:

        Current tablet technology available,

        Offline technology options to deliver web content, and

        Security concerns within a secure system

With the goal of exploring new and expanding opportunities for technology use in secure classrooms, this event will be particularly relevant to correctional educators, their administrators, State Department of Corrections decision makers, and literacy providers in the Technology and Learning and Diversity discussion groups.

Please join us in the Correctional Education group to participate in this special discussion.  Your participation will provide valuable input for an issue brief on using web based services in correctional classrooms. We look forward to talking to you!

The LINCS Community Team

8.  ESL:  Citizenship Resources

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners will be posting a 5-part series of USCIS Promising Practices (  Check it out!

9.  LINCS Change:  Merging LINCS Accounts

Taken from LINCS Notice

We are pleased to announce that two weeks from now, on August 4, the log in process for the LINCS Community will be merged with the log in process for the LINCS Learning Portal, which houses LINCS’ online professional development courses.

This is a great improvement to LINCS, since now you will only have to remember one username/password combination for logging into both the LINCS Community and the LINCS Learning Portal. And if you’re new to either the Community or the Learning Portal, your existing account will grant you access to both of these resources.

After this technical update is complete on August 4, you will need to take the following actions to access the Community or the Learning Portal. Rest assured that we will guide you along the way. We will be communicating with you regularly until this merge takes place.

Starting August 5,

        All users will be required to change their passwords before they are able to log in to either the LINCS Community or the LINCS Learning Portal.

        Users will be required to log in with the email address associated with their account, rather than their Community username.

This change will make the log in process simpler for our many users who use both the LINCS Community and the LINCS Learning Portal, and will make it easier for brand-new users of either resource to access all of the high-quality professional development opportunities that LINCS has to offer.

As we approach this log in merge, please don’t hesitate to contact us at if you have questions about this process.


The LINCS Community Team

10.  Math:  LINCS Math & Numeracy Group Webinar on Statistics for Action - July 29th

Taken from LINCS Notice

The presence of contaminants from polluting industries is all too common in low-income areas today, and getting a handle on the situation can be quite challenging. We want to protect the health and welfare of our families, but understanding the complexities of risk, the technical terms and the math involved in environmental data reports is not always easy. Join us as we take a deep dive into the tools, lessons plans, and resources available to empower your adult learners with environmental literacy.

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. EDT, LINCS will host Statistics for Action: Using Environmental Data for Meaningful Mathematics in Your Classroom. Join the LINCS Community team, Math and Numeracy group moderator Brooke Istas, and special guests Selene Gonzalez-Carrillo and Martha Merson as we discuss ways to use readily available environmental data in math and science lessons for adults at the pre-ASE and ASE levels.

Presenters will demonstrate how to give your students hands-on experience in interpreting graphs, comparing amounts, using ratios, and finding percent increases. Whether you’re a mathematics teacher, a science teacher, a proponent of data use, or are just interested in health literacy, this is sure to be an event you will not want to miss!

Make sure you register today!

11.  Math:  Resource – Yummy Math

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

I want to share a web resource called Yummy Math. Although it is geared towards a K-12 audience, the Math activities seem very interesting and High School level activities seem appropriate for our students as well. I especially like the Algebra section and the cellphone plan comparison activity


"This lesson makes a great intro to linear relationships.  Student pick one plan and consider the cost of the phone and plan over time.  They make tables, graphs and equations.  Consider allowing students to begin playing with the task without much initial direct instruction.  Guide them with good questioning and teach after they have had time to grapple with these questions and construct new ideas.

After students select a plan and complete their graphs consider posting the graphs up on the wall (or over a document camera).  Have the rest of the class identify which cell phone deal matches their graph.  Finally students compare paying for the phone up front with T-Mobile versus going with a contract.  Which is cheaper over the long run?" [Activity details]

~ Priyanka Sharma 

12.  WIOA Update

Taken from LINCS Notice

Yesterday (July 22), President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This Act reauthorizes the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) with several major revisions. Watch the ceremony here.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is an historic bipartisan, bicameral bill that amends and reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) through fiscal year 2020. The bill makes key improvements to the nation’s workforce and adult education development system, helps workers attain the foundation skills necessary for 21st century jobs, and fosters a modern workforce to help make American companies be competitive. The bill emphasizes the creation of career pathway programs, improved integration and coordination of education and training services, development of sector based strategies, and streamlined service delivery to individuals, especially for underprepared youth and adults.

Stay tuned to the OCTAE WIOA Reauthorization page and the OCTAE blog for more information on how this new legislation will impact adult education, community colleges, and career and technical education programs.

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