Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

MABLE 2015 Update!

MABLE Make-over

MABLE launch went smoothly on July 1st. It is important to read the business language that provides succinct, clear language on reporting in MABLE. All program staff members need to be aware of MABLE changes and their implications for program/classroom management.  A new Users’ Manual will be forthcoming soon. However the business language captures the new reporting features.

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director
Montana Office of Public Instruction

Highlights of the new MABLE include:

 ·       Focus on the program year (no more instructional year);

·       Students no longer tied to PAIs dating to enrollments in past years;

·       Easy to track student gains;

·       Teacher read-rights to all of MABLE beginning July 15th  (Contact Carol Flynn at OPI if you need access to MABLE);

·       Spreadsheet will be available to track all exited students (coming soon)

·       Aligned to WIOA; and

·       Reports will be updated by July 31st.

 Business Language  (Click here for printable version.)

1. HiSET Blast

Update:  7/6/15

Check out most current HiSET information below in Montana HSE Update!!!

HiSET® Program eUpdate | June 2015

Online Interactive Practice Tests for the HiSET® Exam

Coming June 30, 2015

Experience what it is like to take the computer-delivered HiSET® exam by taking these free, 30–45-minute interactive practice tests. The questions on these practice tests are the same as on the HiSET Free Practice Test 2 (FPT2), but are provided in an interactive practice test format.

When you take the interactive practice tests, you receive immediate feedback on your responses, an estimate of your level of readiness to take the real test and an estimate of your HiSET scaled score on this test. You can then review the questions together with explanations for the correct answers.

CBAL™ Quick Math Practice

Coming June 30, 2015

The CBAL™ Quick Math Practice system was developed as part of the Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL™) Initiative at ETS.

With the CBAL Quick Math Practice, you can improve your mathematics skills by practicing with short exercises that focus on core mathematical concepts and procedures. Although the exercises in Quick Math Practice are not the same as the questions you will see on the HiSET mathematics subtest, they can complement your preparation for it. Additionally, the Quick Math Practice system is delivered in a computer-adaptive format, while the computer-delivered practice tests are not adaptive.

Individual Score Reports

HiSET will be changing the detail on our individual score report to reflect percentages rather than the number of items correct, as of June 30. Due to item variations across forms and the equating process, we want to eliminate any confusion as the number of items correct needed to pass will vary by form. This change will still assist candidates in identifying areas of improvement.


As a result of the HiSET portal updates scheduled for tomorrow, the individual score report design changes will be slightly delayed as the changes are dependent on some of the system enhancements. You can expect to see the changes for individuals testing the week of July 6th.  Please note that this delay will have no impact to score reporting time frames.  It’s simply a delay in the template used for reporting.

I’ve attached a sample of the new template for your reference.

Adriana Wells

Product Manager - Lead

Free Practice Test 1 (FPT1) and Paid Practice Test 1 (PPT1)

The free and paid practice tests that were released in 2013 were updated in April to include algebraic concept items that are similar to those on the live operational 2015 test. Please refer to the HiSET Practice Test Quick Reference Guide (PDF) which outlines all the practice test resources that are currently available.

HiSET Portal Enhancements

We will be making the latest round of enhancements to the HiSET Portal overnight on June 30, into the early morning of July 1. During this time, the portal will be unavailable for scheduling and registration.

New enhancements will include:

  • the ability to register with Canadian addresses
  • the ability to schedule and pay for exams using vouchers in the TCA Model

Test Center Reminders

Please avoid creating duplicate profiles for test takers as it can create delays in the processing of scores. The HiSET portal will automatically check for duplicate records as you create profiles and should be overridden only in the event you are certain the test taker does not already have an existing profile. If you have any questions, please contact Test Administration Services (TAS) for assistance.

Please also contact TAS for any general questions regarding ordering test materials, account information and test site scheduling:


Official Practice Test 2

The Official Practice Test 2 (OPT2) replacement orders have all been shipped. If you received an Official Practice Test 1 (OPT1) and have not received an OPT2, please email Lindsey Hamilton.

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 Bill Kopco 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: June 2015­­­

Update:  7/6/15 - HiSET Audits

As you know, we are continuing our efforts to improve processes and ensure test integrity through the practice of regular, random test center audits. These audits are meant to ensure consistency in the processes followed to deliver the HiSET nationally, and are in no way an attempt to impede testing or to get centers “in trouble”. Our efforts are related directly to best practices, and we hope that this process continues to create an environment where centers can grow and learn and improve processes, as well as offering an opportunity to find centers that exemplify what we consider stellar center management. We are sending out the reminder to test centers below this week, as we’ve had a handful of centers surprised by their audits and want to remind everyone that these audits are standard, customary practice and in no way should impact their day to day operations of delivering tests.


As part of our ongoing commitment to quality and consistency in the delivery of the HiSET exam, a test center observer may visit your center the day of the test or the week preceding it. You should check the observer’s identification and letter of authorization from ETS Office of Testing Integrity. If you are still in doubt about the identity of the auditor, you should call the number on the letter to verify the visit. Test center observations are scheduled to ensure that procedures and facilities meet test center standards. The observer will want to monitor as many aspects of the administration as possible, particularly test security arrangements and procedures, testing environment conditions and any evidence of recent changes in program policies, procedures, or requirements. It is requested you provide full cooperation to the observer, however, an observer should not in any way impede you or your staff in the execution of the test administration. These audits will be unannounced and are random and ongoing throughout the testing year in all of our HiSET jurisdictions. You can always contact Test Administration Services at 1-800-257-5123 for additional questions or information regarding test center audits.


Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Amy E. Briggs

Director of Product Management

ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)


Update:  6/29/15

Webex demo for our new free CBT practice tests and CBAL™ Quick Math practice tool

·        HiSET CBT Practice Test & CBAL Quick Math Demo-20150622 1754-1


Corrections Webinar:  New Scheduling Options

·        PLAY RECORDING (5 min)

Check out Montana’s Post-Standard Passing Rate:

·       2014 Annual Statistical Report on HiSET Exam

HiSET Test Administration Update:

·        Test Administrator:  Directions for Administering HiSET Paper-based Exam

·        Test Taker:  Directions for Administering 2015 HiSET Paper-based Exams

·        Test Taker: Spanish Instructions for Administering 2015 HiSET Paper-based Exams


HiSET Accommodations Overview for 2014

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. Email Margaret Bowles with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

2. 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 7/6/15:

  • Funding Career Pathways
  • Montana University System Commissioners' Directive on Early College Student Tuition and Ineligibility for Board Designated Waivers

3. Montana ESL BEST+ Update

We are pleased to inform you that CAL has received a letter of approval from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education. The letter approves BEST Plus 2.0 through February 2017 for use by federally funded programs that report data through the National Reporting System (NRS). The official notice of approval will appear in the Federal Register soon and CAL will inform you when it is published.

CAL appreciates this recognition on the part of OCTAE of the ongoing value of BEST Plus. CAL will continue to sell the current version of BEST Plus as we plan for the transition to BEST Plus 2.0. Because we want to keep in mind the best timing for states and programs, we will be communicating with states and programs on how to proceed with this transition in the coming months through e-mail, webinars, and our website.

Thank you for your continued support of CAL and our assessments and for the work you do to support adult English language learners. If you have any questions, please email us or call us.

Best regards,

Daniel Lieberson
Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics

CAL’s adult ESL assessments staff are available to answer questions

Telephone: 1-866-845-2378, option 1 (toll free)
Monday-Friday 10 am – 6 pm ET

4. Montana Instruction

Check out #3, #6, #9, #10, #11, #13, and #14.

5. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

6. Montana TABE Update

CTB assessment business has been acquired by Data Recognition Corporation (DRC).  As per Mike Johnson, National Adult Education Manager for CTB, “… you should not see any change from day to day activities as they relate to TABE or TASC.” 

Click below for more information.

·       DRC-MHE Press Release 6-30-15

·       DRC-MHE Customer Letter

7. WIOA Update

7/6/15:  WIOA Joint Blog: Making a Shift in the Public Workforce System

On July 1, 2015 many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) went into effect. OCTAE, along with our partners at the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services released a blog discussing the combined efforts at the federal, state, and local levels to date, and how the federal partners will continue to support the transformation of the public workforce system as state and local officials work to transform their systems. Read the joint statement about this significant milestone by Acting Assistant Secretary of OCTAE Johan E. Uvin and our partner agencies.
We encourage you to continue to visit for additional information and resources, as they become available.

Cheryl L. Keenan

Director, Adult Education and Literacy
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education

6/29/15:   Montana WIOA Kickoff

Please contact Margaret Bowles at for more information about the conference.

August 18 – 20

Gateway Center, Helena


WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access the following:

Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

8. Career Pathways:  Funding Career Pathways - A Federal Funding Toolkit for States (Revised Edition)  

Taken from Career Pathways Exchange

Funding Career Pathways: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States (Revised Edition)

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), 2015

Earlier editions of CLASP's Career Pathways Funding Toolkit were widely cited and used at the federal, state, and local levels. The newest edition includes revised program profiles reflecting the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act legislative and administrative changes to key federal programs. Of all the elements of career pathways, support services are among the most important to student success; they also are the most difficult to fund. An updated appendix identifies 10 federal funding sources that can be used to provide a wide range of support services for participants in career pathways.

9. ESL:  Overview of the Naturalization Test Webinar – July 15

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a webinar on Wednesday, July 15, from 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the naturalization test .

During this webinar, USCIS officials will provide an overview of the test, answer questions about the English and civics components, and discuss USCIS study materials and other resources.

To learn more, and to register, please visit

10. HSE:  The big problems with Pearson’s new GED high school equivalency test

Taken from LINCS Assessment 

Why is it so hard?  The new test — which is now administered only on computers — is aligned to the Common Core and has a focus on college readiness rather than workforce readiness.

Click here to read more from the July 9th Washington Post article.

11. Instruction:  Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning – Coming soon!

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy 

The LINCS Learning Portal houses self-paced, freely accessible online courses developed by U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education-funded initiatives. The LINCS project will be releasing an online course entitled Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning this summer. An announcement will be made when the course is live on the Learning Portal. Please disregard this post until the course is live.

12. Literacy, Numeracy, and Health

Taken from LINCS Health Literacy

Shannon Monnat & I (Ester Prins) published a new article on literacy, numeracy, & health among immigrants vs. non-immigrants in PLOS ONE. This was in response to OCTAE & NICHD's recent (and ongoing) call for papers on PIAAC data.

Examining Associations between Self-Rated Health and Proficiency in Literacy and Numeracy among Immigrants and U.S.-Born Adults: Evidence from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).  

Abstract:  This paper uses data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to analyze the relationship between self-reported health (SRH) and literacy and numeracy proficiency for immigrants compared to U.S.-born respondents and for Hispanic versus Asian immigrants. The research questions were: (1) Are literacy and numeracy scores associated with adults’ SRH? (2) Are associations between SRH and literacy and numeracy proficiency moderated by immigrant status? (3) Among immigrants, are literacy and numeracy scores more strongly associated with SRH for Hispanics versus Asians? Immigrants had significantly lower literacy and numeracy scores, yet reported better health than U.S.-born respondents. Ordinal logistic regression analyses showed that literacy and numeracy were both positively related to SRH for immigrants and U.S.-born adults, and should therefore be viewed as part of the growing evidence that literacy is an independent and significant social determinant of health. Second, U.S.-born and immigrant adults accrued similarly positive health benefits from stronger literacy and numeracy skills. Third, although Hispanic immigrants were more disadvantaged than Asian immigrants on almost all socioeconomic characteristics and had significantly lower literacy and numeracy scores and worse SRH than Asian immigrants, both Hispanic and Asian immigrants experienced similar positive health returns from literacy and numeracy proficiency. These findings underscore the potential health benefits of providing adult basic education instruction, particularly for immigrants with the least formal schooling and fewest socioeconomic resources.

13. Technology:  5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools

Taken from LINCS Assessment Discussion

I thought I could read my students' body language. I was wrong. As an experiment, I used Socrative when I taught binary numbers. What I learned forever changed my views on being a better teacher.

Why Formative Assessment Makes Better Teachers

Formative assessment is done as students are learning. Summative assessment is at the end (like a test) …

Click here to read more.

14. Technology Discussion:  LINCS Explores Digital Badges in Adult Education – Online Portfolios and Micro-credentials

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: Micro-credentials and Online Portfolios

Event Type: Online Discussion

Date(s): July 13-17, 2015

Next Monday, from July 13-17, 2015, join us in the LINCS Technology and Learning group for a special Micro-credentials and Online Portfolios online discussion. This online discussion will focus on:

Defining and describing micro-credentials (digital badges) and online portfolios;

Exploring how they can be used in adult education programs, schools and organizations;

Examining how they can enhance existing online learning or assessment products and websites ; and

Identifying potential benefits for learners pursuing substantive career pathways.

Aimed at examining micro-credentials and online portfolios in a comprehensive way, this event will be particularly relevant to adult education teachers, program administrators, and members of the LINCS Technology and Learning, Program Management, and Career Pathways groups.

15. Technology:  Integrating Problem Solving, Digital Literacy, and Access – August 13

Taken from LINCS Notice

Free Webinar

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

Register now!

Integrating Problem Solving, Digital Literacy and Access into Instruction 

Hear how adult educators have been integrating digital literacy into instruction. Ideas will be shared on how to use project-based learning activities to help adult students improve their solving problems skills while offering practice with reading, writing, speaking and listening. A panel of practitioners will share their ideas on how adult learners can improve digital literacy skills and access to technology thereby accelerating learning.

Hosts: Steve Quann and Ben Bruno, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, a project of World Education 

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 

Presenters: A panel of adult educators will share how they have implemented lesson ideas.

Pre-webinar assignment: Review Integrating DigitalLiteracy and Problem Solving into Instruction

16. WIOA:  Webinar – WIOA Act Now Series:  Customer Centered One-Stop Design 

Taken from LINCS Notice

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Act Now Series: Customer Centered One-Stop Design

Date: July 29, 2015
Time: 12:00pm ET (11:00am/Central, 10:00am/Mountain, 9:00am/Pacific)
Length: 90 minutes

Register Now

This session on Customer Centered Design is the third webinar in the Act Now Series, hosted by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), to inspire innovation at the local and state level in achieving customer centered design as part of implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we are hosting a webinar on Customer Centered Design. Design Thinking is a practical, repeatable approach to arriving at innovative solutions. Think of these Methods as a step-by-step guide to unleashing your creativity, putting the people you serve at the center of your design process to come up with new answers to difficult problems. This webinar will include an overview of what Customer Centered Design is, examples from peers about how it is currently being used in the workforce and human services systems, and how other federal agencies are using Design Thinking to innovate services to customers.

This webinar is the launch of a bigger initiative designed to engage workforce leadership throughout the country in a three month process. Through your participation in this webinar, you will learn how you can address design challenges below. You will also learn how you and your partners can engage in a team to learn, practice, and implement customer-centered design.

·        How might we improve the customer experience and outcomes for our shared One-Stop Customers?

·        How might we put employers in the center of our sector strategies and career pathway work?

·        How might we design services and programs for out of school youth that will engage them and produce great outcomes? 

The Audience: 

·        Organizations implementing WIOA

·        People who are designing services, writing RFP’s, etc.

·        Partners who serve a broad range of customers

·        State and local workforce agencies who want better outcomes

·        All one-stop partner programs

The Presenters: 

·        DOL leadership

·        WIB Directors

·        One Stop Managers

·        TANF Tribal Child Welfare managers, and leadership focused on Innovation from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

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

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 !  Thanks!

Norene Peterson

Adult Education Center

415 N. 30th Billings, MT 59101