Greetings from Montana LINCS

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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 #3 AND #4 about math standards and webinars.

3.   Montana Math Standards Updated

Click here to access updated Math Standards.

4.   Montana Math Webinar

Welcome to the Montana Math Webinars!

Click here for more information and resources. 

Webinar 1 will be held January 21 and/or January 22.

5.   Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources: 

·       Coaches’ Resources

·       Regional Homework

·       National Resources

6.   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

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. 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

9. PIACC Research:  health, basic skills, technological problem-solving, and adult learning among U.S. adults

Taken from LINCS Notice

The American Institutes of Research and NCES have recently posted the 1-page summary and PowerPoint slides from our presentation, "Examining Associations between Adult Health and Literacy, Numeracy, Technological Problem-Solving Skills, and Post-Initial Learning in the U.S." The full paper will be posted soon on the PIAAC Gateway website ( Ours was one of the 7 papers commissioned by AIR (

1-page summary:

PowerPoint slides:

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