Greetings from Montana LINCS
Having trouble with this email? Click here for MTLINCS Email for 1/18/16.
Looking for past emails?
Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/index.htm
One of the purposes of MTLINCS is to provide you with not only state information but also snippets from national discussions. Do not be overwhelmed. Just quickly scroll through the list of items to see what may be pertinent or interesting to you.
National Information: *WIOA Items
1. Montana ABLE Meetings
Click here to access information about the following February Montana ABLE Meetings:
· Bring Your A Game to Work
2. Montana ABLE Shoptalk
ShopTalk documents from January 2016 Shoptalk
· Adult Basic Education Protocol
· Application for CCR Standards
· OCTAE Program Memo
· TechHire Grant
· WIOA Discussion Group Directions
3. Montana BEST Plus Update
Happy New Year from all of us at the Center for Applied Linguistics. As we noted in our email to you last month, CAL is committed to providing you with the information you need to prepare for the launch of BEST Plus 2.0 on July 1, 2016. Please take a moment to review the following updates. You can find more information online at the BEST Plus 2.0 web page. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
BEST Plus 2.0 Rollout
§ CAL will provide each state and each program with one complimentary BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Guide and one USB drive that includes the BEST Plus 2.0 test administration software and the new score management software.
§ To ensure we have the most updated shipping information, CAL will be contacting programs in February 2016 with a link to a web page for programs to update their contact and shipping information.
§ Watch for our email and postcard with the link. For test security, please note that CAL will only send the complimentary BEST Plus 2.0 materials to programs that have confirmed their shipping information.
Pre-Order BEST Plus 2.0 Starting May 16, 2016
§ BEST Plus 2.0 print-based examinee test booklets and picture cue books (Forms D, E, and F) will be available for pre-ordering on the CAL Store starting Monday, May 16, 2016. Orders for print-based test materials received by June 20, 2016, will be shipped to arrive by June 30.
§ Prices for BEST Plus 2.0 are now available on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page. Price changes for computer test administrations will go into effect on July 1, 2016.
§ Computer test administrations ordered at any time will continue to be credited to the programs’ accounts and will not be affected by the transition to BEST Plus 2.0.
§ CAL can work with your state to order BEST Plus 2.0 print-based test materials and computer test administrations at a bulk rate. Please contact us for more information.
New NRS Score Ranges
The new NRS score ranges for BEST Plus 2.0, effective July 1, 2016, are listed below. You can also find these posted on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page.
· Beginning ESL Literacy 88 to 361
· Low Beginning ESL 362 to 427
· High Beginning ESL 428 to 452
· Low Intermediate ESL 453 to 484
· High Intermediate ESL 485 to 524
· Advanced ESL 525 to 564
· Exit criteria from NRS 565 and higher
Pre- and Post-Testing
Please note that you cannot pre-test with the original BEST Plus and post-test with BEST Plus 2.0 for NRS reporting.
· Starting July 1, 2016, programs must use BEST Plus 2.0 for pre- and post-testing for NRS reporting. This means that scores from the original BEST Plus cannot carry over into the new program year.
· Returning students will need to be retested with BEST Plus 2.0 per NRS guidelines. Programs should follow policies set by states and OCTAE.
CAL has revised guidance for instructional hours for BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy as outlined below. Guidance on instructional hours is also posted on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page.
§ CAL recommends re-testing students at the end of their period of instruction, with 60 hours minimum (80–100 hours recommended) of instruction prior to re-testing.
§ In instances where a student does not have 60 hours, programs should follow state assessment policies and NRS guidelines when re-testing at the end of the instructional period.
§ If students receive more than 60 hours of instruction, CAL does not recommend re-testing students at the 60 hour mark; rather, students should be tested at the end of the instructional period to avoid over-testing.
CAL recommends that states work with programs to review program assessment policies and reference the current OCTAE NRS Implementation Guidelines (dated February 2015) in their entirety where necessary.
Original BEST Plus Materials and Computer Administrations
§ Programs with computer test administration balances in their accounts and on testing computers will not have to make any changes once the BEST Plus 2.0 software is installed. Computer test administrations from BEST Plus will carry over into BEST Plus 2.0.
§ For the print-based version used for NRS reporting, CAL recommends that original BEST Plus examinee test booklets (Forms A, B, and C) be used by June 30, 2016. NRS users will not be able to use them after July 1, 2016.
§ To finish your Program Year 2015 data collection (i.e., scoring, data entry, and NRS reporting), NRS users will need to use the original BEST Plus score management software on the red Test CD (dated February 2005) or on the original BEST Plus USB. Programs should save a copy of the red BEST Plus CD or original BEST Plus USB for this purpose.
§ Any unused print-based scoring administrations in your program account balance will be converted to use as computer test administrations as of July 1, 2016. This is especially important for NRS users.
§ There are no changes to the scoring rubric.
§ Programs will be able to download a free PDF of the scoring and software sections of the new BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Guide (TAG) to update their current TAG. New test administrators will need a new BEST Plus 2.0 TAG after July 1, 2016.
§ On July 1, 2016, programs and test administrators using BEST Plus for NRS purposes will need to destroy all original BEST Plus examinee test booklets and picture cue books (Forms A, B, and C) and the black Administrator Practice CD. All red BEST Plus Test CDs and original BEST Plus USBs should be destroyed as soon as Program Year 2015 NRS reporting has been completed.
§ Original BEST Plus test materials will not be valid for NRS reporting for Program Year 2016 or beyond.
CAL Contact Information
To make sure that your records are up to date, we are providing the current contact information for CAL.
Center for Applied Linguistics
Attn: BEST Plus
4646 40th St NW
Washington, DC 20016
Visit the BEST Plus 2.0 web page for more information.
Daniel Lieberson, Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics
4. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources
Click here to access all MPF Resources. Logic Model and Contextualized Templates now posted.
5. Montana and National News Information
Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/National_News2015.html to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search. New resources posted on 1/1/16.
6. TABE: Participate in the TABE 11 & 12 Field Test Review – Just a reminder – Invitation from Mike Johnson Posted on 9/21
Corporation | CTB will be field testing new test items for the development of
new TABE® forms. To achieve this goal, we need your help. We invite your
program to join in this national field test review. You will have the
opportunity to view and respond to test items that may appear on the new TABE
National Adult Education Manager
Data Recognition Corporation | CTB
7. WIOA Update
12/14/15: WIOA Graphic
How Performance Data Works
WIOA Montana Updates:
Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/wioa/wioa_updates.html to access the following: Montana WIOA: Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.
9/7/15: WIOA Kickoff Follow-up
Presentations posted on DLI website: https://dli.mt.gov/ under Data and Publications.
8. Assessment: Evaluate Online Formative Assessment Tools
Taken from LINCS Assessment
Calling All Teachers! Now Recruiting!
LINCS Micro Group for Evaluating Online Formative Assessment Tools
Even though the introductory webinar was on 1/14, if interested, you may want to contact Marie Cora at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers have the exciting opportunity to join a small group of colleagues to try out online formative assessment tools in their teaching, discuss the tools with peers in a dedicated discussion board on LINCS, and then write up a review of the tools using an online review form.
Formative assessment….”refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. Such assessment becomes ‘formative assessment’ when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching work to meet the needs.” (Black and Wiliam)
Micro group members must be working with students in order to use the online tools in their teaching.
Micro group members will each use and review 3 tools over the course of 3 months. Reviews will include personal experiences and uses of each tool.
The micro group’s culminating resources will be shared with the broader community.
The project will run from January through April, beginning with an orientation webinar on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 2:00 PM EST.
If you have any questions about this micro group project, please email Marie Cora at email@example.com.
To sign up and be part of this valuable opportunity, go to:
Formative Assessment Micro Group Sign Up
Taken from LINCS Career Pathways
National Public Radio has produced a series of stories following the recipients of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. These stories examine how community colleges are working to ensure student preparation for the workforce. According to Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, the program’s goals are twofold – first, to shift public perceptions around community colleges as models of high caliber, postsecondary education; and second, to identify strategies for achieving excellence, which may be used to encourage other institutions.
These stories come from institutions across the U.S., each addressing issues in their local communities. One common thread runs through each of these stories – students credit their community college as a pathway to achieving both personal and professional goals.
These programs can be streamed online here:
· Community College: The New Frontier
· Walla Walla Community College: Budding enologists and prisoners: how does one school help two strikingly different sets of students succeed?
· El Paso Community College: Raising expectations and creating a college-bound culture.
· Valencia College: A shining example of first-rate education.
· Lake Area Technical Institute: A small town technical college that delivers big results.
Taken from LINCS Career Pathways
Beginning in January 2016, the Connecting Credentials Initiative is co-hosting several interactive webinars featuring credentialing innovations across the U.S. These webinars will increase viewer's understanding of credentials and promote further discussion to better connect different credential systems.
These webinars will focus on the five topics below:
· Developing common language to serve as the basis for a connected credentialing system;
· Using real-time data and technology to empower credential users and create continuous feedback mechanisms;
· Creating nimble end-to-end quality assurance processes to support portability and trust of credentials;
· Creating scalable employer engagement approaches to improve demand signals and increase relevance and currency of credentials; and,
· Creating flexible credentialing pathways leading to family-sustaining job to increase equity.
You can register for these free webinars, using the links below:
· Innovations in Credit for Prior Learning
o January 22, 2016 1:00-2:30 pm EST
· Flexible Credentialing Pathways Leading to Family-Sustaining Jobs
o February 11, 2016 2:00-3:30 pm EST
· Developing a Common Language for Connecting Credentials
o February 19, 2016 1:00-2:30 pm EST
*11. ESL: Text Complexity for ELLs and Language Minority Students
Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards
We all know that the College and Career Standards (as well as the Common Core in K12) emphasize the critical importance of engaging students with complex text.
Lily Wong Fillmore, someone I have learned a lot from over the years, has been working with K12 teachers to support English learners and other language minority students (i.e., students who speak so-called non-standard dialects) -- which would include many students in adult basic education-- to access complex texts. Dr. Fillmore argues that the language students need for dealing with the standards "is an outcome of --not a prerequisite for" their learning. Dr. Fillmore believes that students must be given the opportunity to grapple with complex texts with teacher support -- from the beginning.
Dr. Fillmore has been working with K12 teachers in New York City. Check out this brief video of a kindergarten class reading a complex text about butterflies. I'd love to hear members' reactions. What are your thoughts about the way the teachers present complex text to these students? What parallels, if any, do you see with working with adult learners?
Members who are interested can read a paper on this topic, "What does text complexity mean for English learners and language minority students?" by Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore and Charles Fillmore and watch a brief video at Stanford's Understanding Language website.
Susan Finn Miller
*12. ESL: Update from CAL
Taken from CAL Email to State Director
Happy new year from the CAL team. We are looking forward to connecting with you in 2016 and will be sharing information about new resources that we think you will find helpful as you continue to enhance your program activities in support of adult English learners.
Download a free copy today.
CAL developed the Fundamental Principles of Effective Adult English Language Education to serve as a guide for our professional development and technical assistance service delivery. These 8 principles are informed by our decades of experience working with programs serving adult English learners and are supported by the evidence base on reading skills development and adult second language acquisition.
We hope these principles can serve as a valuable resource as we all seek to proactively respond to trends noted in federally funded programs for adult learners, such as the push to address the College and Career Readiness Standards to prepare all learners for success in higher education or in careers and the need to serve the growing numbers of English learners in adult basic education, (ABE), High School Equivalency (HSE), and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) classes.
Visit our website to download the free PDF.
Featured Professional Development Workshops
Watch our website for a new professional development workshop coming soon.
§ English that Works: Designing and Delivering Workforce ESL Instruction
resources, this workshop focuses on the communication skills that are essential
for employability and career advancement. The workshop is interactive from
start to finish, and participants leave with resources and tools that integrate
workforce preparation with language development.
Learn more about this workshop.
§ English for Civic Life: Designing and Delivering Effective Integrated English Literacy (IEL) Civics Instruction
This workshop provides both
a strong theoretical base and extensive hands-on practice in integrating
multiple language and content objectives successfully in the classroom.
Participants leave with resources and tools for melding established content
with updated learning objectives.
Learn more about this workshop.
Spotlight: Consumer Protection Basics for Adult Learners
§ Access the financial literacy and consumer protection content provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its consumer websites – offered in both English and Spanish.
Visit www.Consumer.gov and www.Consumidor.gov
§ Visit CAL’s website to download free resource documents on using the College and Career Readiness Standards with the materials developed in collaboration with the FTC. Learn more and download the free materials.
Connect with CAL at Conferences this Spring
TESOL PreConvention Institute April 5, 2016 - Baltimore, MD
full-day institute will share strategies for helping students learn HSE content and increase their English language skills; participants create or adapt activities for their own instructional contexts.
Learn more about the Pre-Convention Institute and other presentations at TESOL 2016.
COABE Pre-Convention Institute April 10, 2016 - Dallas, TX
Bigger and Better Strategies for Integrating Standards in ABE and ESL
This full-day institute will give participants strategies for helping students improve language skills, and help instructors integrate the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) in their instructional and curricular planning.
Learn more about the Pre-Convention Institute and other presentations at COABE 2016.
BEST Plus Update
BEST Plus 2.0 will be launched on July 1, 2016, to coincide with the start of the new program year. CAL will be conducting webinars in February 2016 to provide more information.
We look forward to connecting with you to promote success for your adult English learners.
CAL Solutions: Adult English Language Education
Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners
An interesting discussion continues to take place based upon David Rosen’s post at https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/digital-divide-now-widening-no-longer-narrowing :
A new Pew Research Center Report, Home Broadband 2015, by John B. Horrigan and Maeve Duggan, finds that "The share of Americans with broadband at home has plateaued, and more rely on their smartphones for online access.... It now stands at 67% of Americans, down slightly from 70% in 2013, a small but statistically significant difference which could represent a blip or might be a more prolonged reality. This change moves home broadband adoption to where it was in 2012."
Here is another interesting post.
The latest Tech Tips for Teachers article, "Mobile Writing with Google Docs" by Susan Gaer, is a practical, step-by-step blog article on how adult learners and their teachers or tutors can use Google Docs for writing on portable digital devioces. Smartphones, for example, paired with inexpensive portable keyboards, as Steve Quann has suggested, together with this Tech Tips for Teachers article could greatly help teachers whose students have smartphones to transform a reading and writing classroom into a real time "blended writing" environment, and to extend the learning and writing practice beyond the classroom.
David J. Rosen
*14. Instruction: Math
Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy
The following postings are taken from a discussion, Listening with Understanding, about helping learners develop their mathematical thinking. What do you think?
The only way to find out what students think is to ask them! This doesn't have to be oral, though, and they don't have to tell just the teacher. I try to ask "why/why not?", "how do you know?", or "what are you thinking about?" every time I work individually with students, but I also ask these questions (and make them write/draw) on worksheets, when students work in groups, and when they do work on the board. I also have them explain their thinking to each other. This helps both the explainer (who puts the thoughts into words and generates rules) and the listener (who is exposed to a new way to think about the math) …
Just came upon another educator sharing some benefits of helping learners develop their mathematical thinking.
Quick read and quick video view:
Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners
Given the vast number of words in the English language, how can we prioritize the vocabulary we devote precious classroom time to? It makes good sense to focus instruction on words and expressions that have high currency, i.e., the most common words and phrases in English. Many of you are familiar with both the General Service List (GSL), the most common words in English, as well as the Academic Word List, which was developed through corpus studies conducted by Averil Coxhead and first published in 2000 featuring the 570 most common academic words used across academic disciplines.
Did you know there is a New General Service List? The original GSL was compiled in 1953 by Michael West. This new GSL, also based on corpus studies, was first published in 2013 by Charles Browne, Brent Culligan and Joseph Phillips. AELL community members may want to check out the new GSL, which updates and expands upon the original one. The original GSL featured 1,964 word families, and the NGSL highlights 2,368.
I recently learned that there is now an Academic Collocations List available, too. Collocations are words that frequently appear together. For instance, the word literal is most commonly used as follows: literal interpretation, literal meaning, and literal sense. When we teach the word literal, we would be wise to include these examples since these expressions are the ones students are most likely to encounter.
Some members might be interested in learning a bit more about the Academic Collocations List as well as gaining some ideas for teaching collocations. You can check out this Lexicallab blog on "The Lexical Approach and Natural Selection."
16. Post-Secondary Completion: Study of Underemployment
Taken from LINCS Post-Secondary Completion
A recent study, Underemployment in the Early Careers of College Graduates (Abel & Deitz, 2015), examined the types of jobs held by underemployed recent college graduates—those aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree—following the Great Recession, using American Community Survey data from 2009 to 2013. In a blog published yesterday by the authors, they found that “contrary to popular belief, most underemployed recent college graduates were not working in low-skilled service jobs following the Great Recession.” Below is the abstract for the study:
Though labor market conditions steadily improved following the Great Recession, underemployment among recent college graduates continued to climb, reaching highs not seen since the early 1990s. In this paper, we take a closer look at the jobs held by underemployed college graduates in the early stages of their careers during this period. We show that relatively few recent graduates were working in low-skilled service jobs, and that many of the underemployed worked in fairly well paid non-college jobs requiring some degree of knowledge and skill. We also find that the likelihood of being underemployed was lower for those with technically oriented and occupation-specific majors than it was for those with degrees in more general fields. Moreover, our analysis suggests that underemployment is a temporary phase for many recent college graduates as they transition to better jobs after spending some time in the labor market, particularly for those who start their careers in low-skilled service jobs …
17. WIOA: Department of Labor Seeks Comments on WIOA-related Information Collection
The Department of Labor, in coordination with the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development have announced the joint information collection request soliciting comments concerning data collection that will be used for Unified and Combined State Plans under WIOA.
The Office of Management and Budget is seeking comment through January 22, 2016 on the proposed WIOA State Plan Information collection. A copy of the Federal Register Notice, proposed information collection request and supplement, and supporting statement can be accessed here.
HiSET® December 2015 Newsletter
The HiSET® program would like to extend warm holiday wishes to everyone during this special time of year. As we complete our second full year of testing, we are excited to be providing a more affordable and accessible option to states. We owe our success to all of the states and territories that have adopted the HiSET exam, and we couldn't have done it without your unwavering support. As we move into 2016, we are eager to build upon the success of 2015 and work with new states that seek alternative high school equivalency testing. Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!
Enterprise Data Manager
Our Enterprise Data Manager resource was launched on December 11, 2015. All test center administrators have access to this resource from the HiSET portal once they log into the system. We also have provided a link within the portal to a user guide that explains all the features of this new resource. We will present a webinar in the near future to demonstrate all the capabilities of Enterprise Data Manager.
Subtest Fee Change
HiSET subtest fees are decreasing from $15 to $10, starting on January 1, 2016. The full battery will cost $50.
It's the holiday season, and many of us are taking vacations after a busy year! If you are unable to reach your normal Test Administrative Services representative, please remember to email HiSETTAS@ets.org, so that another representative can assist you. ETS has coverage in place, and we will be able to serve you quickly in the event your representative is taking some time off for the holidays. You can also call TAS at 1-800-257-5123 and you will be directed to an available representative. ETS will be closed December 24–25 for the holidays, as well as December 31–January 1, 2016, for the New Year holiday.
Returning 2015 Test Materials
All 2015 HiSET test books must be returned to the ETS warehouse at the conclusion of the 2015 testing year by chief examiners. Per policy and procedures, you may not keep the test books for any reason whatsoever after the 2015 testing year concludes.
return all test books to:
The test books should be returned sorted and counted by subtest and form; for example, count by Math Form A, Math Form B, etc. Please label each box in your shipment with the center's name or HSTP number, and keep a record of the tracking numbers.
Unused answer sheets can be used in 2016 and do not need to be included in your returns. See our 2015 Test Materials Return (PDF) and 2015 Test Materials Return Notice (PDF) for detailed instructions.
HiSET Success Stories — Billings, Montana
Just a few months shy of her 20th birthday, Aspin Miller felt she had no clear direction in her life. At that point, she decided to further her education, not just for herself, but for her family too. Miller enrolled in classes at the Billings Adult Education Center to prepare to take the HiSET exam. Read more about Miller's story (PDF) and how passing the HiSET exam has helped her find the path to achieving her goals.
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 and include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.
For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.
Montana HSE Update: January 2016
Important Update Regarding the 'Are you Ready to Take the HiSET Exam?' Chart
During a recent quality control of all online material, we discovered that the Math range tables posted on September 1, 2015 do not reflect the most current information. As you may recall, the Math tables were updated back in April to accommodate the additional items added to the existing practice tests. Please note that the tables were in fact accurate at that time. On September 1st, the document was then updated to include the newly added practice tests. When that update occurred, the Math range tables inadvertently reverted to the data as it existed prior to April 2015. The error was immediately corrected and an updated chart has been posted online.
To summarize, the Math tables published between September 1, 2015 and December 18, 2015 were incorrect. Please use be certain to use this updated chart moving forward.
Our sincere apologies for any confusion or inconvenience this oversight may have caused you or your test takers. Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. My contact information can be found in my signature below.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!
Senior Product Manager
HiSET 2015 Information Brief - Math
As many Math teachers requested, we have enhanced the Math information with a great deal of detail. Teachers may expect a similar level of detail in our 2016 Informational Brief for all subtests. This particular update was developed in response to feedback received from Math teachers across all HiSET states and territories.
Click here for the brief.
Estimate how well prepared you are for the HiSET exam:
Montana HiSET Resources
Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/HiSET/hiset_resources.htm.
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
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 http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/ . Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org ! Thanks!
Norene Peterson, Adult Education Center