Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)
All ESE-funded Intermediate Level Classes to Participate in Evidence-Based Reading Instruction Beginning in FY 2013
All recipients of Community Adult Learning Center and Adult Basic Education Programs in Correctional Institutions grants with a Grade Level Equivalence (GLE) 4.0-8.9 class will participate, subject to annual appropriations, in the STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) project during the FY2013-2017 funding cycle, on a staggered schedule.
Overview of the STAR Project
The STAR Project is a national professional development program focused on building the reading skills of intermediate level (GLE 4.0-8.9) adult learners. This evidence-based approach to reading instruction, launched in 2006 by the US Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), is supported by years of research in reading methodology which found that mid-level adult learners struggle with one or more reading components, or skill areas: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and/or comprehension. An evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI) approach requires teachers to use diagnostic assessments to identify their learners' individual strengths and weaknesses and target reading instruction accordingly.
Since OVAE launched the pilot in 2006, nineteen states have adopted this evidence-based approach. In Massachusetts, eighteen programs representing every region were selected, through an application process, to participate in the implementation of STAR during FY 2010 and FY 2011. In the funding cycle beginning in FY 2013, ESE/ACLS intends to expand STAR to every Pre-ASE classroom across the State.
Massachusetts' STAR Initiative
All programs with a GLE 4.0-8.9 level class will participate in the STAR Project at some point during the FY2013-2017 funding cycle. Additional funding will be made available (subject to appropriation approval) for programs during their years of participation, to support the training of the program director and one or two teachers, and the purchase of diagnostic assessments.
The purpose of this initiative is to build the capacity of Massachusetts' ABE system to implement evidence-based reading instruction in the Pre-Adult Secondary Education (4.0-8.9) level classes in Community Adult Learning Centers and Adult Basic Education Programs in Correctional Institutions, in order to improve student outcomes.
For more information about STAR, see OVAE's STAR website. For the research on which STAR is based, see the 2002 National Institute for Literacy report Research-based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction. To learn about Adult Reading Components (ARCs) and learner profiles for intermediate-level readers, see the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles (ASRP) website .
What Participation in STAR Entails
Participation includes six full days of training for the program director and at least one teacher, and implementation of the STAR model. STAR participants receive over thirty hours of training and on-site follow up support for two years from state-certified STAR trainers, as well as access to an extensive web-based toolkit that covers aspects of assessment, instruction, class management, and program design. Participants receive a certificate of completion after completing the six days of training.
Participation in STAR requires:
- commitment to six full days of training for the Program Director/Coordinator1 and least one intermediate level (GLE 4.0-8.9) ABE teacher;
- commitment to implementing evidence-based reading instruction and maintaining fidelity to the STAR model for the selected STAR class(es);
- willingness to make adjustments in the program design that might be required for the classes involved in this evidence-based approach2 ;
- willingness to implement managed enrollment;
- use of the Diagnostic Assessment in Reading (DAR) test; and,
- having an effective system in place for data collection, fiscal management, and SMARTT data entry.
Programs participating in the STAR project will have the opportunity to choose whether to include or exclude the STAR class(es) in performance measures for the first year of participation.
STAR Eligibility and Funding
Community Adult Learning Centers and Adult Basic Education Programs in Correctional Institutions with at least one Pre-ASE (GLE 4.0-8.9) level class are eligible for STAR participation and funding.
In a program's first year of STAR participation, funding will be either $2,300, $4,100, or $5,900, depending on the number of participating staff. First year funding includes $1,800 per program participant (one Director and up to two teachers) and $500 per program towards the purchase of the Diagnostic Assessment of Reading (DAR). In the second year, STAR participating programs will receive a reduced level of funding to support continued implementation. By the third year, participants are expected to continue implementation of STAR without additional funding.
Should STAR-trained staff leave the program, their replacements must participate in a six-day STAR Institute in order for the program to continue participating as a STAR funded program. ACLS will financially support replacement of staff only once during the FY 2013-FY2017 funding cycle; subsequently it will be the program's responsibility to ensure that new staff are trained in STAR.
In FY 2013, funding will be available to support up to ten programs' participation in STAR. Subject to appropriations, ACLS plans to add approximately ten new programs each subsequent year until all programs with Pre-ASE classes are trained in and implementing STAR.
Funds must be used for STAR project related expenses (i.e., travel expenses, additional assessment time, additional prep time, staff development, materials, academic counseling, teacher substitute, etc.) Programs must incorporate a portion of their Community Adult Learning Centers and Adult Basic Education Programs in Correctional Institutions grant or match resources to help cover additional costs to implement STAR. Costs must be included in the program's match narrative.
1 A Coordinator may replace the Program Director in the training, provided that the Coordinator: (a) is the supervisor of participating pre-ASE teacher(s), (b) has the authority to make budgetary decisions, and (c) has the authority to reallocate staff hours if needed.
2 Examples of program design changes include intensity of class hours offered (nine or more hours weekly is optimal) and ensuring that at least 50% of classroom instruction time will be allocated to evidence based reading instruction.