Greetings from Montana LINCS

Having trouble with this email?  Click here for MTLINCS Email for 2/22/16.

Looking for past emails?

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

Information overload?

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.

Montana Information

National Information:  *WIOA Items

HiSET Information

Montana Information

1. Montana ABLE Teacher Summer Institute

Save the date!

·       Teacher Summer Institute

·       June 1 and June 2

·       Helena, MT

More information will be coming!

2. Montana BEST+ Training and ESOL Conference

Best Plus 2.0 and Best Literacy Discussion

"       Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"       9:00 am to 3:00 pm

"       OPI 1300 11th Avenue Conference Room

Each individual attending will need to bring his/her own laptop.

ESOL Spring Conference

"       Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"       5:00 pm  7:00 pm

"       OPI 1300 11th Avenue Conference Room

And continues

"       Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"       8:00 am to 3:00 pm

"       OPI 1300 11th Avenue Conference Room

3. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.  Logic Model and Contextualized Templates now posted.

4. 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. New resources (NRS Implementation Guidelines) posted on 2/20/16.

5. NRS Implementation Guidelines Revised February 2016

No revisions except Appendix D and E.

·        Appendix D:  Comments received from across the nation on the new EFL descriptors and the responses from OCTAE.  The EFL descriptors reflect increased academic rigor and are much better aligned to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Adults.

·        Appendix E:  New descriptors for the Educational Functioning Levels (EFLs) for ABE.

Message from U.S. Department of Education

The National Reporting System (NRS) Implementation Guidelines have been revised and are posted on the NRS web site.  You may download the document at this link This edition includes two new appendices:

·        Appendix D contains the comments and responses on the proposed educational functioning level descriptors for Adult Basic Education (ABE).

·        Appendix E contains the new educational functioning level descriptors for ABE.

The new ABE educational functioning level descriptors will not be implemented until the Secretary has determined that there is at least one assessment that is both aligned with the revised descriptors and that is suitable for use in the NRS.  Until that time, programs will continue to use the existing ABE descriptors.  We also made revisions to remove references to specific secondary school credentials and high school equivalency tests.  Please note that this version of the NRS Implementation Guidelines does not include changes required under WIOA.

Thank you for the good work you do every day on behalf of our students.

Jay LeMaster

U.S. Department of Education

Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

National Reporting System

Washington, DC

6. WIOA Update

WIOA Montana Updates:


Montana WIOA Discussion Group Update

Have you been reading items posted on the Montana WIOA Discussion List?  Monthly program reports have been posted.

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

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website: under Data and Publications.

WIOA National Update:

2/20/16:  NRS Implementation Guidelines

NRS Implementation Guidelines

12/14/15:  WIOA Graphic

How Performance Data Works

National Information

*7. Career Pathways:  Panel Discussion - Promoting Greater Hispanic Participation in the Labor Market and Career Pathways created by LINCS Communications

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: Promoting Greater Hispanic Participation in the Labor Market and Career Pathways

Event Type: LINCS Community Discussion

Date(s): February 22-26, 2016 (5 days) or

LINCS Diversity and Literacy & Career Pathways groups

Dear LINCS Community,

LINCS is excited to announce its next panel discussion: Promoting Greater Hispanic Participation in the Labor Market and Career Pathways.

From February 22-26, a panel of experts will address the need to help Hispanics benefit from career pathways programs and transition into middle-skill careers. Using the report Investing in the Skills Development of Hispanics, our panel will look at key questions surrounding Hispanics in the workforce:

Why are Hispanics under-represented among middle-skill occupations?

What promising practices can Adult Education, in collaboration with business and industry, implement to significantly change the representation of targeted minority populations in high-demand, higher-wage jobs?

How can Hispanics and other minority and diverse populations use career pathways as stepping stones to robust middle skill careers?

What resources and models are available to support the implementation of strong initiatives to encourage greater participation of Hispanics and similar minority populations in new or high-demand businesses and industries in the U.S.?

Discussion participants will learn about the Carreras en Salud partnershipa successful career pathways program for Hispanics in healthcare industriesand explore opportunities for expanding this model to other career training and supports.

The panel discussion kicks off February 22nd in the LINCS Diversity and Literacy & Career Pathways groups. See you there!

*8. Career Pathways:  PBS News Hour's "Making the Grade Video

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

In recognition of CTE Month, PBS NewsHours is airing Making the Grade, a story examining the growing value that CTE courses are providing to learners across the U.S.

The story begins at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, near Boston, MA, where students can enroll in immersive CTE programs that include culinary arts, skilled trades and automotive technology. In addition to requiring high-level academics for all students, the programs strive to incorporate what they refer to as live work. Principal David Wheeler captures the meaning best by noting, Cosmetology takes clients. Construction, we have done complete renovations of buildings. We have done Web sites for people. We do printing. There is no better way to engage a student than [when] theyre doing real, meaningful work.

To view the segment, click here, and click here to learn more about how you can work with the media in your community to build support for CTE.

Mike Cruse

*9. Corrections:  New Resources to Support Reentry Education

Taken from LINCS Correctional Education

I am pleased to announce that the Reentry Education Framework, designed by RTI International for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, has been released. It highlights five critical components of an effective reentry system: program infrastructure, strategic partnerships, education services, transition processes, and sustainability. Each component can be tailored to the specific context and needs of the education provider, its partners, and the target population.

To learn more about the Framework and access implementation tools, please visit:

·        An online tool kit that provides guidelines, tools, and resources for each framework component.

·        The Reentry Education Framework report that includes lessons learned and examples from three reentry education programs.

·        A short video that describes the Framework and tool kit.

·        A report and video  on the current use of advanced technologies in corrections.

We encourage you to share these resources with your colleagues. Also, if you have any questions about the Framework, please contact me at

Michelle Tolbert

10. Disabilities:  New Research on the Testing Effect for Learners with ADHD/ADD

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Adult Education

A recent New York Times (NYT) article, Research Hints at Promise and Difficulty of Helping People With A.D.H.D. Learnhighlights the effectiveness of a cognitive science technique  the so-called testing effect  for people with attention-deficit disorder.   To quote the NYT, "The principle is straightforward: Once a student is familiar with a topic, testing himself on it deepens the recall of the material more efficiently than restudying".  Links to the two cited studies' abstracts are available through the NYT article, and also here and here.  

Mike Cruse

11. ESL:  USCIS Invitation: Implementing Quality Citizenship Instruction, 02/23/2016

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. (Eastern) on implementing quality citizenship instructional programs.

During this webinar, representatives from the Office of Citizenship will focus on USCIS Guide to the Adult Citizenship Education Content Standards and Foundation Skills. In addition, they will provide an overview of the Professional Development Guide for Adult Citizenship Educators and the Citizenship Resource Center.   

This webinar is the second in a series of stakeholder engagements on topics relevant to potential applicants for future USCIS funding opportunities. A separate invitation will go out for a teleconference, to be scheduled in the next few weeks, on USCIS grant funding opportunities.

To register for this session, please follow these steps:

 Visit our registration page to confirm your participation.

 Enter your email address and select Submit

 Select Subscriber Preferences

 Select the Event Registration tab

 Complete the questions and select Submit

Once we process your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details. If you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at

12. Math:  Free Online Math Professional Development

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

Want to learn new methods to teach Proportional Reasoning skills while enhancing your content knowledge? Need it to be convenient? Flexible? and FREE? Here's your chance! 

Once you've read the details, contact Michelle Carson by email on LINCS, email or call 785-250-1882

This facilitated online professional development course is intended for adult education teachers who are interested in learning how to develop the necessary mathematical skills in their learners who have the goal of seeking a high school equivalency credential. This 2-part course will help teachers with developing the proportional reasoning skills needed by their learners to be successful in obtaining a high school equivalency credential. With the current movement in adult education to prepare learners for college and careers as well as the advent of more rigorous high school equivalency testing based on the Common Core Standards, teaching them to use proportional reasoning skills is critical to the achievement of their future education or career goals.

The course is facilitated by Brooke Istas, Math and Numeracy SME.  The proposed content for both parts centers on the three key shifts in mathematics and the eight mathematical practices. Part A provides an introduction to proportional reasoning and how to teach it. The content for Part B focuses on the proportional reasoning linkages with Algebra and Geometry. 

As part of two (2) 6-week online courses facilitated by Brooke, the participants will:

·        Reflect on their current teaching practice.

·        Understand the importance of developing proportional reasoning skills.

·        Discuss the research base and rationale that supports teaching proportional reasoning.

·        Apply proportional reasoning skills to real life scenarios and be able to teach learners to do so.

·        Demonstrate an understanding of proportional reasoning and its relationship to Algebra and Geometry.

·        Describe mathematical instructional practices that support the development of proportional reasoning skills

·        Learn how to teach multiple ways of using proportional reasoning skills.

·        Consider how to effectively implement strategies introduced in the course.

·        Demonstrate the skills and knowledge learned from participation in the course in their practice.

The methods used in the course encourage contact between the course participants and facilitator; develop reciprocity and cooperation among course participants; and respect the participants diverse knowledge, experience, and ways of learning. The course will integrate the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and model the effective use of these practices.

Participation and Course Details

Part A Course Dates:

February 28, 2016 to April 16, 2016 (Pre-course activities are available to you beginning February 21, 2016)

Part B Course Dates:

April 17 to May 28, 2016 (Pre-course activities begin April 10, 2016)

Participant Time Commitment: 12 - 24 hours/entire course; 1-2 hours/week

Course Developers/Facilitators:  Brooke Istas, Lynda Ginsburg & Michelle Carson

Participant Enrollment: 25 teachers maximum selected, participants will be selected on a first come basis.  A wait list will be maintained and will be activated should a selected participant become unavailable.

Deadline to Enroll: February 27, 2016

Participant Cost to participate: $0 (FREE)

How do I participate in the pilot?

To Participate:

Send an email expressing your interest in participating in the Proportional Reasoning course pilot with your phone number and email (Michelle Carson) or send one through the LINCS community.  You will receive an email regarding your selection or waitlist status for the pilot with additional information regarding the login to the course.

 13. Reading:  Reading Strategy  Radio Reading

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

This easy to implement technique, which requires little or no planning, seems to me to have a lot of promise.

Radio Reading is a "read aloud" strategy designed for maximum interaction between the reader and the audience. The reader "reads aloud" a selection and then initiates a discussion by asking specific questions of the audience. Responses and dialogue should be fast-paced.

This strategy improves reading comprehension at two levels. The reader must immerse himself in the text to develop the discussion questions. The audience, in turn, reinforces learning by responding to the reader's questions &

You can learn the five steps in "radio reading" at the Reading Educator blog.

Susan Finnmiller

*14. Technology:  Millennials up Next for PIACC

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Wednesday, February 24th, at 11 AM is the next webinar in the RISE Webinar Series America's Skills Challenge:  Millennials and the Future explores the skills of those age16-34, found in the PIAAC data.  This presentation and discussion notes the growing inequality of opportunity in the United States and the impact this has on both skills acquisition and outcomes for both current and future generations. (RISE is the Research on International Studies in Education.)

To learn about past and future events, visit the PIAAC Gateway Calendar And, have you tried the online demo version of the test?  What did you think?

Cynthia Zaftt

HiSET Information

HiSET® January 2016 Newsletter

Happy New Year to the entire HiSET® family. We are excited to begin our third year with a strong start, and we look forward to working with you in 2016 to support adult learners with the most affordable and accessible high school equivalency assessment in the country.

Enterprise Data Manager

The new Enterprise Data Manager launched this fall and provides test centers and state administrators with the accurate and actionable data to track test takers' progress and success. Look out for training webinars in the coming months! These webinars will show you the capabilities of our new Enterprise Data Manager system and help you learn how to manage your reporting requirements.

Test Center Reminders

2015 Test Material Reconciliation is underway! Thank you for returning your materials on time and completely. If you have not yet returned your 2015 test materials, you must do so immediately. Please contact your TAS representative if you have any questions.

  • Include the Test Material Return Notice with your shipment.
  • Please do not over-pack or overstuff your boxes.
  • Label all of the boxes in your shipment with 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc., as necessary.
  • Do not return USED answer sheets with 2015 testing materials. Doing so can create a significant scoring delay.
  • Hold onto answer sheets and return kits. These can be used through 2016.

HiSET Annual Conference

Thank you to those who were able to attend the HiSET 2015 annual conference and for making it a success! Check out our video with highlights from this dynamic event. We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 conference. Details will be sent out later this year.

HiSET Success Stories

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.

Phone toll-free:



Montana HSE Update: February 2016

Update:  2/20/16

HiSET Vendor List provided by Marianne Shomaker, Montana OPI High School Equivalency Specialist

No vendor is specifically recommended for its resource.

Update:  1/4/16

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!



Adriana Wells

Senior Product Manager


Update:  10/19/15

·        HiSET 2016 Montana Presentation by Jonna McDonough, Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

Update:  10/5/15

·       2016 Writing Response Scoring Guide:  NEW

·       2016 Scored Sample Writing Responses:  NEW

·       2016 Sample Questions:  NEW

·       2016 Test at a Glance:  NEW

·       2016 HiSET Program Manual:  NEW

Update:  8/31/15

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:

Are You Ready to Take 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. EmailMargaret 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 .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please email 

Norene Peterson, Adult Education Center