Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1. HiSET Blast

HiSET® Program eUpdate | April 2015

Test Center Reimbursement

In an effort to be more eco-friendly and expedite payments, ETS is transitioning from paper checks to electronic payments. If your center or organization is currently reimbursed fees via check on a monthly basis, please either complete the Automated Clearing House paperwork that was enclosed with your monthly payment or contact Michele Gregov at


Used Answer Sheet Returns

Please be sure to return all used answer sheets, Supervisor's Irregularity Reports and Center Report Forms to:

Inbound Processing Center
200 Ludlow Drive
Ewing, NJ 08638

Return envelopes and testing materials should not be sent to Pam Cato via the 2014 Test Book Return Options in the UPS account.

Sending answer sheets and testing materials to the incorrect location can delay scoring and risks test security. 

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:



Montana HSE Update: May 2015­­­

Response by ETS to Montana Math Instructor Observations

Montana math instructors submitted questions to ETS about the new math HiSET test.

Click here to read ETS response.

Calculator Policy Rescinded:

ETS was asked to write a policy on the calculator by several states. As we have always stated, HiSET is calculator neutral and it makes no difference for the assessment if a scientific calculator is used or a four function calculator.  We can absolutely change the policy to scientific if that is desired. I believe it would be easier to use a scientific calculator in multi-vendor states since the other vendors use scientific.  

ETS does not allow test takers to bring their own calculator to testing.  This cannot be changed.  A four function calculator was written into the policy under the assumption it was preferred by the states and since that is what students have access to in the CBT version.  We also didn't want testing centers to have increased expense for purchasing scientific calculators.

Amy Riker, ETS HiSET National Executive Director

Estimate how well prepared you are for the HiSET exam:

HiSET Preparation Materials 2015

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. Spring 2015 Meeting Resources:  Directors' Meeting, ESL, and TABE:  April/May 2015

Click here to access multiple resources from Montana spring meetings: Directors’ Meeting, ESL, and TABE Training

TABE Materials now posted!

ABE in Montana and WIOA

·        ABE in 2015-2016

·        MT WIOA Self-Assessment Side by Side Comparison

·        NVC Readiness Checklist Planning Tool

·        NVC:  What Will WIOA Mean (pdf)

·        NVC:  What Will WIOA Mean (powerpoint)


·        BEST+ Update

·        BEST Literacy (Letter from Margaret Bowles)

·        BEST Literacy Test Usage Policy

Moving Pathways Forward Resources

·       Making Skill's Everyone's Business

·       Montana ABE Recruitment Materials Plan

·       Montana ABE Recruitment Materials Review Form:  Part 1

·       Montana ABE Recruitment Materials Review Form:  Part 2

·       Montana ABE Program Instructional Materials Review Form

OCTAE Resources

·        Corrections Education

·        English Language Acquisition

·        Essential Components of Reading

·        Integrating Technology

Other Resources

·        EdReady Montana Goal Assessment Setup Worksheet (Missoula)

·       Employment Essentials Syllabus (Missoula)

TABE Training

·       TABE 9&10 Alignment to Common Core

·       TABE Best Practice Report and FAQ for TABE Online and PC 2014 v.2

·       TABE Testlets:  Prepare for College and Career Readiness Standards

·       TABE Training Slides 2015

3. Montana and National News Information

Click here  to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search.  More resources posted on 5/12/15.

4. Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out #8 - #17.

5. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

6. WIOA Update

5/18/15:  Reminder from OCTAE - Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Quick Start Action Planner:  One-Stop Center Service Design

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration recently released the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Quick Start Action Planner (QSAP), a new technical assistance tool for implementing the WIOA. According to its website, the QSAP “is an interactive, self-paced assessment tool designed to help leaders at all levels of the public workforce system plan for this transformation and prepare for implementation of WIOA.” The QSAP was designed to help entities identify the strengths and weaknesses in their workforce systems. It will also help connect workforce leaders to targeted resources to help them prepare and plan effectively for WIOA implementation.

The tool is intended for both local and state public workforce system leaders. Accessing and completing the QSAP and holding results discussions “will help states and local areas develop a common understanding of their readiness to implement WIOA and jointly develop a plan to address opportunities for action.”

For more information on the QSAP, public workforce leaders and other interested parties are encouraged to review the WIOA

5/9/15:  New Posting on WIOA Update Page

Integrated Education and Training:  An Overview of Pertinent WIOA Statutes and Federal Regulations

4/13/15:  WIOA Update:  Comment Period 

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act— Five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking Available for Public Inspection:  Sixty Day Comment Period Begins April 16

Below are the Title I, Title II proposed regulations for WIOA along with the listing of the tables of contents for the two documents that highlight the key sections related to our adult education programs. This material was sent to State Directors of Adult Education last Friday. After April 16, 2016 The US Department of Education will be accepting comments on these rules.

Once the state directors have fully examined the proposed rules i will be issuing materials that will highlight the critical issues for our programs. I hope to have input from other states by our April meeting.


 ·        2015-05528 Title I proposed regs

·        NCSDAE WIOA Title I table of contents

·        2015-05540 Title II proposed regs

·        NCSDAE WIOA Title II table of contents

See more information below.

On Thursday, April 2, 2015, the Department of Education released a program memorandum announcing five notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) related to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). We encourage you to share this information with interested stakeholders, and to become familiar now with the content of the NPRMs in advance of the comment period. 

The notices are:

·        A NPRM between ED and the Department of Labor (DOL) to implement jointly-administered activities under Title I of WIOA regarding unified and combined state plans, performance accountability, and the one-stop system.  This NPRM applies to all core programs, including state vocational rehabilitation services and adult education programs.

·        A DOL-only NPRM to implement changes made to the adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs authorized under Title I of WIOA.

·        An ED-only NPRM that will implement changes to programs authorized under Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), which are contained in Title II of WIOA.

·        Two ED-only NPRMs that will implement changes made to the programs authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which are contained in Title IV of WIOA, as well as new provisions.

The AEFLA Title II NPRM is available online at  The other four NRPMs are posted on the Federal Register Public Inspection website at  

They will all be available for comment during a 60-day period beginning on April 16, 2015. 

Please visit for links to the NPRMs and additional resources and information. 

WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access the following:

Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

7. Career Pathways:  Career Counseling Supports for Persons with Criminal Histories

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The U.S. Department of Justice's Employer-Driven Model and Toolkit was published last May, providing "strategies for developing employment opportunities for justice-involved individuals".

The downloadable PDF file includes information on how  to determine whether an individual with a criminal record is prohibited from entering specific occupations.  Below is an excerpt from the document.

To determine whether someone with a criminal history is eligible to work in a particular occupation, consider the nature of the job and that person’s offense, how much time has elapsed since the conviction, federal and local laws, restrictions imposed by licensing or credentialing authorities, and stipulations made by the courts or probation and parole agencies. There are several web-based sources of information that you can use to make these determinations.

Page three of this document provides web references for agencies where individuals can learn more about their career options, across occupations and employers.

State Employment Restrictions for People with Criminal Histories

The American Bar Association maintains a website that provides a detailed state-by-state analysis of the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. The site allows users to search by the consequence category of “employment” and to further narrow down each search by offense category.

Federal Occupation Restrictions for Justice-Involved Individuals
The National Hire Network provides a list of federal occupational restrictions affecting people with criminal records.

License Requirements for Specific Occupations
State licensing authorities provide information necessary to determine whether a person with a criminal record is prohibited from obtaining an occupational license. CareerOneStop identifies the contact information for licensing authorities in each state.

Certification Required for Specific Occupations

Certification authorities provide information necessary to determine whether a person with a criminal record is prohibited from obtaining certification for specific occupations. CareerOneStop identifies certification authorities to contact for

Use of Background Checks in Hiring Decisions

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment provides current information about the use of criminal background checks in hiring. The guidance cautions against the use of blanket exclusions of everyone with criminal records and calls for targeted policies and individual follow-up before making hiring decisions. It provides useful information to people reentering the community, as well as employers, on the proper use of criminal records in the employment process.

8. ESL Reading Resources

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Discussion about reading websites has led to the following:

I started a spreadsheet here with all of the websites discussed so far.  Let me know if you think anything should be changed to the document!  Becky

9. ESL Webinar on May 29:  Adult Educators Collaborate to Build Bridges and Empower Learners in Classrooms and Communities

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Welcoming America and World Education, Inc. invite adult educators to join an exciting opportunity to review and shape an adult education toolkit designed to foster inclusive communities, celebrate the contributions of New Americans, and build cross-community interaction. In celebration of National Welcoming Week, we have prepared a variety of classroom activities that build communicative skills as they also bring together diverse communities to learn about each other’s lives and experiences.

In this webinar, we invite our colleagues to review the materials and collaborate with us to make sure that the toolkit is full of tools that will engage your students and open avenues for communication, understanding, and celebration. Bring your ideas and creativity! Your ideas will help shape a national toolkit that helps students in ESOL and ABE classrooms to connect and celebrate with their communities during National Welcoming Week 2015.  All participants will receive a copy of the toolkit.

Date: Friday, May 29, 2015 at 1 pm EST

Register Now! 

Featured presenters:

Andy Nash, World Education

Heather, Ritchie, ESOL Trainer and Instructor

Rachel Peric, Welcoming America

10. Instruction:  5 Keys to Comprehensive Assessment: #3 Summative

Taken from LINCS Assessment

This is week 3 of our discussion on the five keys to comprehensive assessment presented by Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond. We are focused on this  short video featuring Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond. The first key is meaningful goals and measures. We know students learn more effectively when learning goals are clear. The second key is formative assessment. Regarding formative assessment, Darling-Hammond says, "Assessment should be done early and often and throughout the [teaching and learning] process."

The third key is summative assessment. How would you explain the difference between formative and summative assessment? What is an example from your practice? How do Darling-Hammond and the teacher featured in the video explain this essential key? What examples of summative assessment are offered in the video?

Susan Finnmiller

11. Instruction:  Open Educational Resources for the Classroom Webinar on May 28

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: Open Educational Resources: Working Together to Evaluate and Promote High Quality Resources in the Classroom

Event Type: Online Discussion in the LINCS Community and Webinar

Webinar: May 28, 2015 (1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET) / Register for the webinar


Do you use product reviews and customer feedback for items you’re interested in or need to purchase?  Do they help you make a decision?  What if you could do the same thing with teaching and learning materials for adults; how effective would it be?

LINCS is excited to announce an upcoming event:Open Educational Resources: Working Together to Evaluate and Promote High Quality Resources in the Classroom

On May 28, 2015, special guests Dahlia Shaewitz, Dr. Tara Myers, and Amanda Duffy from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will host an informative webinar to discuss the value of evaluating open educational resources (OER) in support of work in adult education. The US Department of Education defines OER as: “… teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits sharing, accessing, repurposing—including for commercial purposes—and collaborating with others” (See NETP, 2010, p 56). The webinar will highlight OER Commons, a searchable online database of OER, and how to tag OER for adult education, add comments, and join the OER Commons public group of adult educators.

A week prior to this webinar, from May 18-22, 2015, the AIR team invites you to share your thoughts and experiences in the Science, Math, and Evidence-based Professional Development groups. Subject matter experts will engage in week-long Q&A on the evaluation of OER, the effectiveness of quality OER for adult learners, and usefulness of the OER Commons website.

Please save the date for this expert-led event. You can learn more about OCTAE’s Open Educational Resources to Enhance STEM Teaching and Learning in Adult Education (OER STEM) project at the project page on LINCS:

The LINCS Community Team

12. Math:  The New Math Project (Dev Ed Math Courses)

Taken from LINCS College and Math and Numeracy

View this archived webinar from Inside Higher Ed describing how the New Mathways Project seeks to decrease the time students spend in developmental education math courses while increasing their success in for-credit math courses:

Webinar Description 

“Developmental math is a burial ground for the aspirations of myriad students.” These are ominous words from Dr. Uri Treisman, Founder and Executive Director of the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. With 67% of community college students being referred to one or more developmental math courses, it’s certainly a road well-traveled. But it’s a path rarely completed. The Dana Center’s New Mathways Project (NMP) seeks to improve student success and completion by aligning math pathways to fields of study to dramatically shorten the time it takes for students to earn college credit and provide opportunities for students to learn mathematics that is rigorous and relevant to their lives and future careers. The NMP model is being implemented in colleges across Texas, and the Dana Center is supporting similar work in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and Washington. Don't miss this engaging session featuring, Amy Getz, Strategic Implementation Lead at the Charles Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin where she will share:

·        The impact that this pioneering redesign model is making on students

·        Best practices and lessons they have learned along the way

·        Recommendations for institutions embarking on their own redesign journeys

Jessie Stadd

13. Postsecondary Study:  High Aspirations But Significant Barriers

Taken from LINCS Postsecondary Completion

A 2014 Gallup-Lumina Foundation Study of the American Public's Opinion on Higher Education is out today. This 21 page report consists of simple tables containing the answers to the study's 4 main survey questions on the importance of degrees or professional certificates, especially related to job prospects and the cost of education beyond high school.  Three finding noted by Lumina Foundation:

·        Hispanic and African American survey respondents believe most strongly in the power of postsecondary education for job and quality of life.  Lumina e-Newsletter outlines the findings.

·        Many who do not yet have a postsecondary degree or credential say they have taken steps toward attaining one, including 35% who say they have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 33% who have researched degree programs that award credit for prior learning, 50% have talked with a college adviser or recruiter, 47% have researched a degree program that fits their needs; and 25% say they have spoken to their employer's human resources staff about tuition support or reimbursement. (See page 9)

·        While "good jobs and good lives" are seen as an outcome of education, just 13% strongly agreed that U.S. college graduates are well-prepared for success in the workforce.

Cynthia Zaft

14. Reading Webinar:  May 29 at 2 EST

Taken from LINCS Notice

Center for the Study of Adult Literacy

Free Webinar Event: Friday, May 29, 2015, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST

In September of 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) awarded funding for a five-year research center for adult literacy. This center is dedicated to studying adults who read between the third and eighth grade levels.  We invite you to join us as we share an update on our activities.

During this webinar we will discuss our exploration of underlying cognitive and motivational processes that contribute to or impede reading development, and our development of a multi-component instructional program to help learners improve their reading and comprehension skills.

This national webinar will be held on Friday, May 29th from 2:00-3:00 Eastern Time.

Please register at:

Registration is limited! (If clicking on the above link does not work, copy/paste the URL into your browser)


Principal Investigator:

Daphne Greenberg, Ph.D., Professor, Georgia State University, Department of Educational Psychology, Communication Disorders, and Special Education

Co-Principal Investigators:

Maureen W. Lovett, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children Art Graesser, Ph.D., Professor, The University of Memphis, Department of Psychology and the  Institute for Intelligent Systems

Questions? Please contact Edison Wolf at:

15. Standards and Vocabulary

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

I have heard it said that vocabulary is a proxy for background knowledge, and this makes a lot of sense to me. With limited vocabulary knowledge, comprehending complex texts is definitely challenging. In a recent post, I noted the standards that include a focus on vocabulary. I'll include that list again here.

•Reading 1.C

•Reading 4.A, B, C, D

•Language 4.A, B, C, D

•Language 5.A, B, C

•Language 6.A, B, C, D

What are some ways to approach teaching vocabulary to address these standards and support learners to access complex texts?

Susan Finn Miller


Thank you for pointing out the CCR standards that focus on vocabulary. I copied them out to see them all together. The statements below represent only the Anchor Standards, not the full range of statements found in supporting standards A, B, C, D.

READING CCR Anchor 4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

LANGUAGE CCR Anchor 4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

LANGUAGE CCR Anchor 5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

LANGUAGE CCR Anchor 6:  Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

What stood out most to me in reading the CCR Standards is that they say what students will be able to do, but not how teachers will work with students to help them gain those skills. For example, Language CCR 4 says that students will “determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words…” They gave us the what here. Of course, the introduction to the CCR Standards says, “The CCR Standards are not a curriculum.” While the CCR Standards give us the what, teachers have to create the how by developing the curriculum, lesson plans, etc.  

I looked up some articles on vocabulary instruction that I’ve accumulated over time, and I also found a couple recent ones that may be useful in helping us develop lessons tailored to teaching the CCR “vocabulary” standards.

Dr. Kate Kinsella of San Francisco State University has an article titled “Cutting to the Common Core: Making Vocabulary Number One,” in The Language Magazine (May 2015) on word knowledge to prepare academic ESOL students to be college and career ready.

Dr. Keith Folse of the University of Central Florida talks about “8 Myths of Vocabulary Instruction” that can mislead us into believing we are “teaching vocabulary” effectively, but actually, we might be missing the mark. You can read the complete document in the TESL Reporter 37,2 (2004), pp. 1-13, or at his website:

Myth 1 - Vocabulary is Not as Important in Learning a Foreign Language as Grammar or Other Areas.

Myth 2 - It is Not Good to Use Lists of Words When Learning Vocabulary.

Myth 3 - Vocabulary Should be Presented in Semantic Sets.

Myth 4 - The Use of Translations is a Poor Way to Learn New Vocabulary.

Myth 5 - Guessing Words From Context is as Productive For Foreign Language Learners as it is For First Language Learners.

Myth 6 - The Best Vocabulary Learners Make use of Only One or Two Effective Specific Vocabulary Learning Strategies.

Myth 7 - Foreign Language Learners Should Use a Monolingual Dictionary.

Myth 8 - Vocabulary is Sufficiently Covered Enough in Our Curricula and Courses …

Phil Anderson

16. Technology Webinar on May 21:  Helping Learners Problem Solve Using Technology Rich Environments

Taken from LINCS Notice

This upcoming webinar is geared toward technology coordinators, computer teachers, and lab assistants, although other teachers and staff who work with adult learners are welcome to attend.  Facilitators will discuss how to help adult learners build their digital literacy, with a particular focus on using technology to solve problems relevant to their lives.  Resources and strategies for helping learners become digitally ready and independent online learners will also be shared.

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET

Pre-webinar assignments: 

Read Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments and review sample items.

Read Using Technology to Solve Problems on pages 34–35 of The Change Agent, (Issue 37).

 Register now!


Daniel Noyes and Theodora Higginson, Co–Directors of TechGoesHome

Kenneth Tarmarkin, adult educator, author, computer teacher

Welcome: Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, Team Leader, Applied Innovation and Improvement, Division of Adult Education and Literacy, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

Host: Steve Quann, Educational Technologist, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, a project of World Education

17. Technology Webinar on May 28:  Older Americans and Digital Literacy

Taken from LINCS Notice

What: Webinar for Older Americans Month

Date:  May 28, 2015

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Location: Online Event

In honor of Older Americans Month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is launching the first in a series of webinars with several key partners to help address digital literacy and broadband adoption issues affecting seniors.  Presenters include representatives from the Departments of Education, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD); the National Telecommunications Information Administration, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and EveryoneOn.

This 90-minute program will provide an overview of the FCC’s Lifeline program and other resources for low-income seniors including those living in HUD-assisted properties to obtain low-cost broadband in their homes.  Several online resources will be discussed to help plan and deliver high-quality learning experiences to adults and seniors, including freely available professional development courses and communities of practice for facilitators., an online portal to help users learn technology and Internet skills, will be highlighted with an emphasis on life-long learning and free digital literacy training for Older Americans.  Case study information will also be shared including a presentation about the Alele Museum & Public Library in the Marshall Islands where youth are teaching retirees through a senior digital literacy project funded by the IMLS Grants to States program.  The program will conclude with a dialogue about future webinars.

This webinar is open to the public at no cost.  Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, but not required.  Closed captioning will be provided, and the webinar will be recorded for future use. 

To register and join this online event:

Go to

At the Event Information page click on Register

At the Register for event page provide the required information and click on Submit 

Once registered you will receive a confirmation email message containing instructions for joining the event, the password and the link for the meeting.

For more information about Older Americans Month please visit

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