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Montana Information

1.   HiSET Blast


HiSET® Program eUpdate | January 2015

Happy New Year to the entire HiSET® family. We are excited to begin our second year with a strong start and are eager to continue our work to offer the most accessible and affordable option in high school equivalency testing.

Practice Test Clarification

The 2014 HiSET practice materials were developed and released prior to HiSET becoming an operational assessment. The release of the materials was closely aligned with the 2002 series and the 2014 HiSET operational forms. The materials were released in 2013 so the adult education field could prepare their students for HiSET testing prior to the January 2014 launch of the operational test. Developed to prepare students for success in passing the 2014 HiSET exam, the materials were prepared prior to the release of the OCTE College and Career Readiness Standards.

The newly released HiSET Official Practice Test and the upcoming 2015 HiSET practice tests were developed based on information collected throughout the HiSET 2014 operational testing year. They are designed to prepare our students for HiSET 2015 operational testing and to move students towards college- and career-readiness levels. In addition, the Are You Ready to Take the HiSET Exam? document is being updated to reflect the 2015 operational test for all available practice materials. Once the new document is released, please discontinue the use of any previous scales you have used.

NEW — 2015 HiSET Test at a Glance

You can now view the new TAAG information for 2015 in the HiSET download library. As you'll see, there are changes to the exam in terms of content area percentages. We realize that you may have questions, and we will work with all stakeholders to answer them fully. We currently are collaborating with the HiSET state administrators to develop information-sharing and Q&A sessions across the nation. In the upcoming month, we will communicate how the information is shared with each stakeholder group as we work with the states. We assure you that any concerns or questions you have will be addressed fully as we continue to move forward. We look forward to speaking with everyone.

Test Center Reminders

Formula sheets for the 2015 HiSET paper-based math tests were sent to each center earlier this month. This reusable sheet must be provided to each candidate taking a HiSET math exam in 2015. The information on the formula sheet is available to computer-based math test candidates on the computer, similar to the calculator tool. The sheet is also available in the HiSET download library.

HiSET Official Practice Test

The 2015 HiSET Official Practice Tests are now available for ordering, and those that have already been ordered will begin shipping this week. These tests are available only to educators, state directors, departments of corrections and test center administrators. They are to be used only as prep materials and not in place of a HiSET subtest. The practice subtests are half the length of a full subtest. Each subtest contains a half-length version of the full test, a score conversion table and a blank answer sheet. The order form is posted on our resource library. The cost is $10 per subtest or $50 for the complete battery.

Writing test: The break between Section 1 and Section 2 has been removed from computer-based and paper-based testing beginning in 2015. Irregularity reports no longer need to be completed if a candidate does not take the break.

PBT Centers

Answer sheets: The 2014 answer sheets cannot be used for 2015 tests. Answer sheets for 2015 forms can be ordered through your TCA portal.

HiSET Success

Does your state or jurisdiction have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Sheri Mayo with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:



Montana HSE Information:  January

HiSET Age Waivers:  New Protocol 1/22/15 

ETS has implemented a block to underage (16-18) clients when they try to schedule.  The state didn’t have input to the system, but retained the right to override the block. State policy is that ONLY the state can override the underage block. If an underage tester comes into your center already scheduled to test, contact us immediately.


The procedure below is based on our current system and some input from other states.

·        The process puts 17-18 year old approval in the hands of the local facility and that remains the case with one extra step. You will need to contact OPI for a systems override. The state is only going to permit testing at your request. Please remember to include the test taker’s ETS ID in your email or phone message.

·        The process for 16 year-old test takers is basically the same, except after the OPI approves the waiver, we will need to override in the system. Please remember to include the test takers ETS ID on the form. A new form will be created, but in the meantime, just write the ETS ID on the top of the waiver.

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

Montana HiSET PSA Template 1/14/15: 

The PSA templates that were requested of HiSET have arrived.

Click here for HiSET PSA template.  This is offered as examples that can  be rewritten, or edited, at your discretion. 


Montana HiSET Resources

Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

HiSET Success:  Montana

Do you have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Margaret Bowles with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

2.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out Posting #14 for more snippets from Reading for Understanding.

3.   Montana Math Webinar

Welcome to the Montana Math Webinars!

Click here for more information and resources. 

4.   Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here for MT_ABE_Regional_Mtgs_ Labor_Market_Information_Nov_2014.

Click here for Montana Job Projections 2012-2022.

Click here for Montana Job Projections Spreadsheet.

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

5.   WIOA Update:  WIOA Timeline

WIOA Montana Updates:

1/9/15:  WIOA Regulations

The document below announces the regulations for WIOA will not be released in January. A spring release is now the target date. OCTAE has not released any statements on the impact on our required due dates. The Montana state WIOA partners have agreed to start meeting in early February to begin our Unified Plan regardless of the lack of regulation release. The common belief is that we need to get started.

I will keep you posted as I receive information.

Margaret Bowles,
Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

Click here  to access Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

6. Career Pathways:  Many New Jobs Projected to Require Less Than a Four-Year Degree According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics


February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.  In honor of that, this column focuses on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS’) national employment projections between 2012 and 2022, especially as they relate to jobs that require less than a four-year degree.

Between 2012 and 2022, total employment is projected to increase by 10.8 percent, or an additional 15.6 million jobs.  The bulk of this growth is projected to be in service-providing industries.  Leading the way is the health care and social assistance sector, with an annual projected growth rate of 2.6 percent.  This is an addition of 5 million jobs, or nearly one-third of the total projected jobs increase.

In this sector, registered nurses requiring an associate’s degree are projected to have the most job openings over the next decade (526,800).  The field of nursing assistance, which requires postsecondary non-degree training, is projected to gain 312,200 new jobs.

Several health care and social assistance sector jobs with currently low employment rates are expected to grow rapidly during the decade, including diagnostic medical sonographers, occupational therapy assistants, physical therapist assistants, and dental hygienists.  Each of these occupations typically requires an associate’s degree.

In addition to new jobs, job openings occur from the need to replace workers who retire or otherwise permanently leave an occupation.  According to the BLS’ projections, 50.6 million total (new and replacement) job openings are projected between 2012 and 2022.

Jobs requiring postsecondary education tend to pay better.  In general, they had higher median wages in 2012 ($57,770), and are projected to grow faster between 2012 and 2022 (by 14 percent), than occupations that require a high school diploma or less ($27,670 median salary with a 9.1 percent growth rate).

Apprenticeships are growing faster than any other on-the-job training, and are forecasted to grow by 22.2 percent during the decade.

7. Career Pathways:  New ED Website Provides Partnership Building Tools for Employers and Educators


Last year brought unparalleled advances in workforce education and training. In July 2014, President Obama signed the overwhelmingly bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—the most significant reform of job training programs in more than a decade. The new law offers an unprecedented opportunity for the business community to partner with adult education and workforce providers. This will allow employers to customize training and upskill their frontline workforces, expanding job access and opportunity for all Americans. See a U.S. Department of Education blog post, coauthored by Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, detailing these opportunities.

Concurrent with the signing of the WIOA, Vice President Biden released his landmark report, Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity, a review of the nation’s training programs. The goal of the report is to ensure that workers attain the education and skills they need to progress along their chosen career pathways, and that employers find skilled workers to support the economy.  

The WIOA and other new reform efforts opened the door for workforce education and training grant programs. As a result, the Department of Education was tasked by the vice president’s Ready to Work Initiative to develop a new employment and training website. This website—Tools for Building Employer-Educator Partnerships—is designed to introduce both employers and educators to the value of partnering together; describe best practices and success stories; and, disseminate evidence-based tools that contain academic and practical solutions for building partnerships, sustaining collaborations, and creating career pathways. 

Employer-educator partnerships hold the potential to

·        increase foundation skills development within the workplace; 

·        foster new skills development and internal job promotion; 

·        provide stepping stones for low-wage, entry-level workers to more viable employment; and, 

·        link education/training and workforce development to labor market trends and needs.

All interested parties, particularly those providing services to adult learners, are encouraged to visit the website to help facilitate the adaption of new resources, initiate new partnerships, and strengthen existing partnerships. 

Any questions about the website and its content are welcome by emailing

8. Career Pathways:  Opportunities to strengthen state SNAP E&T programs

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

As you may know, there has been an increased focus from USDA and the workforce/adult education community on the opportunities in the SNAP E&T program to connect SNAP participants to education and work, including through career pathways.

To support this mission, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is creating SNAP E&T positions in each of our 7 regional offices--each of these new hires will work with states establishing and facilitating strategic cross-system partnerships with federal, state, and outside organizations in workforce development, education, and human services. FNS is very interested in people with experience from the workforce development/education field.

Here are the links to the announcement (the first one is for current government employees, the second is for everyone else).

 9. Career Pathways:  Resources

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The Workforce One newsletter recently highlighted several of their most often viewed resources. 


       WIOA 101: ( )  A series of short webcasts highlighting key provisions in Titles I and III of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

      The 100,000 Jobs Mission ( The 100,000 Jobs Mission is a coalition of private sector companies committed to hiring U.S. military veterans and military spouses.

      The Promise of High-Quality Career and Technical Education: Improving Outcomes for Students, Firms, and the Economy ( )  A College Board and Georgetown Law Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy report that examines the labor market environment confronting young people today and discuss the characteristics of career and technical education (CTE) programs that address those challenges.

     Encore Entrepreneurs:  ( ) AARP teamed up with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help Americans over age 50 get the real-world, actionable information they need to start and grow small businesses.

       Early College High School Initiative:  ( The Early College High School Initiative focuses on young people for whom the transition into postsecondary education is now problematic - low-income young people, first-generation college goers, English language learners, and students of color. The report was prepared by Jobs for the Future.

     Farther, Faster:  Six Promising Programs Show How Career Pathway Bridges Help Basic Skills Students:  ( )  A CLASP brief highlighting six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses.

      Promoting College and Career Readiness: Bridge Programs for Low-Skill Adults:  ( )  A Community College Virtual Symposium brief describes recent approaches to bridge programs and explores promising practices that contextualize and/or integrate instruction and strengthen student support and transition services to improve students’ rates of postsecondary transition and completion.

      Experiments for Better Service Design:  ( )   This "Experiment Toolkit: ( ) includes step-by-step instructions for designing, planning and running an experiment using the design thinking process and provides examples of past experiments run inside American Job Centers.

      CTE Launchboard:  ( )  This statewide data system supported by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and hosted by Cal-PASS Plus, provides data to California community colleges and their feeder K-12 school districts on the effectiveness of CTE (career and technical education) programs.

Gail Cope

10. Career Pathways:  Using and Communicating Data to Drive High Performing Sector Strategies Webinar

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

An upcoming webinar, Using and Communicating Data to Drive High Performing Sector Strategies, will be offered on February 4, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. 

Description:  Good use of labor market information (LMI) is critical to building strong sector partnerships. In this webinar, we will explore what LMI sources are most helpful, where to access information, and how to tell a compelling story using labor data to employers and other partners. Innovative ideas will be explored and an example of use of data to bring employers to the table and address workforce issues will be discussed.

You may register via the following link: .

Registration for this webinar is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register today!

Instructions for registering

1.     Visit:

2.     Click the "Login Now" button and type in your email and password.  Then click the “Reserve Seat Now” button.  If you haven't updated your password within the past 90 days, you will be prompted to do so.  If you do not have a Workforce3 One account yet, you must create and activate an account before you can register for the webinar.  Visit to create your free account. Once you’ve created and subsequently activated your Workforce3 One account, please refer back to this email so that you may register for the free webinar.

3.     Once you have registered for the webinar event, you will receive an email with detailed instructions for accessing the webinar.  We ask that you listen to the audio portion of the live webinar via Internet Telephony (through your computer speakers). You will also be supplied with a teleconference number and access code if you must join using a telephone. If possible, we encourage you to use Internet Telephony, as we are limited in the number of teleconference lines and the more people that use Internet Telephony, the more capacity we have for those that must join using a telephone.  If anything changes and you no longer wish to attend, please go to your dashboard at and remove your registration.

PLEASE NOTE: If multiple participants from the same location are joining the live event, we encourage you to join at one location. This will allow for a larger number of participants to attend.

System Check
Please click the following link to perform a simple system diagnostic before you attempt to join the live Webinar:

If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have speech disabilities and captioning would facilitate your participation in this Webinar, you can register for captioning service through the Federal Relay Conference Captioning. Please note the Federal Relay Service requires at least 48 hours notice (2 working days) to guarantee coverage. Visit:  .

11. GED® Completion Rates Discussion Continues:  Snippet Regarding HiSET Passing Rate for 2014

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Testing Volume Down With Rollout of New High School Equivalency Exams Last year, about 50,000 people took the HiSET, which is now offered in 14 states, according to ETS. The national passing average for the full battery of tests was 62 percent. HiSET is the only test offered in New Hampshire, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Maine, Massachusetts, and Missouri. It is optional in  California,  Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wyoming. 

Revised GED Test Creates Hurdle for Many

How Has the GED Changed?

GED overhaul: Tougher test, less success 

Meryl Becker-Prezocki

12. Health Literacy:  “Staying Healthy for Beginners” Special Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

Please join us for a discussion in the Health Literacy group on the ESOL health literacy curriculum: Staying Healthy for Beginners: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living.

The curriculum includes a colorful, picture-filled student guide written for a high beginning ESL level, and an accompanying teacher’s guide. Together they allow you to teach literacy and language acquisition skills in the context of health topics like talking with doctors, taking medicine and eating healthy food.

From February 16-20, 2015, we will talk with Greg Smith and Jennifer Young, from the Florida Literacy Coalition, who created the student and teacher’s guides. They will discuss how the guides were developed, how they work, and how they can be used in ESOL programs.

We hope to have a chance to hear more from teachers who have used this curriculum, and to talk with teachers who may want to use it in the future.

The LINCS Community Team

13. Postsecondary Completion:  Webinar Recording Available: Academic Coaching for Classroom Facilitation and Self-Directed Learning

Taken from LINCS Program Management

(Note:  Updated on 1/28/2015 with links to webinar, presentation slides, and presentation references)  

A recent webinar, Academic Coaching for Classroom Facilitation and Self-directed Learning, was held earlier this week by the NROC Project.  The NROC Project is a national, non-profit movement impacting college & career readiness.  This webinar discussed how technology enables the creation of more "personalized learning" paths for students and how it opens the door to new modes of facilitation and support for learners, regardless of the mode of instruction. Academic Coaching helps faculty, advisors and student support staff champion students to develop the non-cognitive skills of self-awareness, motivation, persistence, critical thinking, accountability, and follow-through needed for success in college, career, and life.

Access the webinar recording at:

Click here to download:

Presentation Slides

Presentation References

Gail Cope

14. Reading:  Snippets Continue from Book Study on Reading for Understanding - How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms

Taken from LINCS Assessment

More and More Snippets:  Have you had a chance to follow the discussion about Reading Apprenticeship?  If not, click here to join the Reading Apprenticeship micro group.  See snippets below of the conversations that are occurring. Check out MTLINCS for other snippets:,, and

Snippet #1

Lower Level Implementation

Hi Jen and all, Thanks for drawing a distinction between cognitive and language abilities. What I have found especially helpful with language learners (these students are at about the 3rd grade reading level on TABE), as I noted in a previous message, was to have students work with one or two partners to share one of the specific items on the metacognitive bookmark. For example, depending on the particular text, I might ask the students to complete specific prompts in conversation with their partner or group. Prompts might be:  "I predict that ..."  or "When I read this part, I pictured _________________ in my mind." or "One thing I have a question about is ...." , etc.

One of the things that is emphasized in the RA text is to take time to debrief with students after they engage in an activity by asking them to reflect on how the activity helped them to better understand the text. This is a step that I want to be sure to include with my new class.

I have found the partner and small work work to be hugely beneficial as students readily share with one another. The conversations have been more meaningful and --I would also say-- more academic compared to previous lessons I've taught since these prompts take students directly to the text.

Snippet #2


Did you see that newsela has added a writing prompt to all their passages? You can edit the prompt too! The student and teacher can annotate the article as well. In other words a teacher can add Think aloud to the article by highlighting and then typing in their thoughts!

Snippet #3

Resources for Independent Reading

I would like to suggest 3 free online resources for texts for student reading.  Adult Learning Activities is part of the California Distance Learning Project .  This site has articles on a variety of topics which can be read or listened to. Some of the articles have a basic version and a full article version.  NewsELA has articles on curent events. Each article is written at 4 or 5 different lexile levels so students at different reading levels can all access the same information.  ReadWorks has articles at a variety of levels along with vocabulary and comprehension questions. The last two sites are designed for K-12 but many of the articles are suitable for our adult students.

One source I have drawn upon routinely is the Marshall Adult Education's Reading Skills for Today's Adults. They offer online reading selections on topics of interest to adults at a range of reading levels, from 0.7 reading level to 8th grade. Learners can both read and listen to the text on the website. There are also vocabulary and comprehension exercises accompanying each article that can be downloaded to complete.

Have any of you tried ReadTheory at  My students enjoy doing it because it adapts to their individual ability levels.  As a student completes a reading activity, the next reading either increases or decreases in difficulty based upon the student's results.  Students like the visual the graph provides so they can "see" their growth.  When the reading drops a level, most of the students strive to reverse the graph …

Snippet #4

Student Questions

I have always enjoyed having my students ask their own questions.  As others have stated, their interest goes up and the class discussions are more engaging when students develop the questions.  On the teaching channel, they have a great presentation at: called Text Analysis: Questions & Symbols.

The video gives practical ideas for organizing this activity:   students independently write questions about a text they have read, work in small groups to determine best questions and then submit those to the teacher.  The teacher uses the selected questions to discuss the text.  The teaching channel is K-12, but as we have noted, the strategies are often very applicable to adults.  

… I use the Teaching Channel videos often, and I want to share Student Generated Questions for Exam Prep at  Let me explain that a Math lesson is demonstrated, but the idea can be used for any content area and student level.  The whole idea of the questions coming from the students definitely increases engagement and learning.

Snippet #5


… I try to keep in mind two things: that learners already have a cognitive web of words and their associations that can be built upon (including from other languages), and multiple exposures and uses in context are key to meaningful vocab retention. I can see the word detective practices mentioned in our book becoming the next piece in my growing philosophy …

My favorite web tools for vocab with ELLs have been Lexipedia (,which webs similar words; Wordnik (, which represents words by definition, in context, through visuals, and in other ways; and for more advanced students the Corpus of Contemporary American English ( The web tools are pretty fun, but I think they are best supported by the kinds of classroom practices in our book.  

Snippet #6

Word Detective

One thing that has been noticed is that our learners are lacking vocabulary. It does hamper learning. The section that the Authors discussed on "Word Detectives" brings to mind that learners do not know what they do not know! Helping learners to realize that there are times to skip over words and other times to understand that the word definition is important to understanding of the reading passage. Giving learners the skills and practice to make conscious decisions will help them to both develop vocabulary and understanding of what they are reading. The " read  past" words can make a difference to understanding what is being read. 

15. Science:  Antarctic Resources

Taken from LINCS Science

On January 21, 2015, Real World Literacy and the Common Core community on presented a webinar from McMurdo Station, Antarctica.  You can still view this webinar, showing science teacher and National Science Foundation penguin researcher Jean Pennycook, at presented another webinar from Antarctica in a broadcast on January 28th, 2014. It is archived at  This webinar is also sponsored by Real World Literacy and the Common Core community.

Time for Kids Mini-Site contains supporting materials, such as an Antarctic “Sightseeing Guide”, a history timeline, a quiz, and features about Jean Pennycook’s time on the ice.  Even though the name of the site is not age neutral (“kids”), it provides educational materials that can benefit learners of all ages.  There are resources for teachers, as well.

Real World Literacy and the Common Core is “…a professional learning community (PLC) that provides teaching ideas and lesson plans that are aligned with Common Core State Standards.  It is hosted by the editors of TIME For Kids and is a place where you can stay connected, share ideas, and get support from colleagues. You can post questions, start discussions, and get feedback from experts and peers on the issues and challenges you face every day. This program is sponsored by TIME For Kids.”

Susan Cowles

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