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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Assessment Guidance During COVID-19 — Correctional Institutions

To: Program Directors, Test Administrators, And Adult Education Teachers in Correctional Institutions
From: Wyvonne Stevens-Carter, Adult Education State Director
Date: April 23, 2020

1. Administration of NRS Pre- and Post-Tests

As announced in the ACLS memo sent on March 27, due to program closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ACLS asked all adult education providers (including those in Correctional Institutions) to put the administration of NRS pre- and post-assessments on hold until further notice.

However, ACLS understands that various factors influence Correctional Institutions' individual decisions to continue face-to-face instruction, temporarily suspend instruction, resume face-to-face instruction, and use NRS assessment results as evidence that a student has exceeded program compliance expectations beyond attendance.

To reflect these complex realities and to comply with test administration procedures as outlined in the ACLS Assessment Manual, adult education programs in Correctional Institutions (CI):

  • may administer face-to-face NRS assessment only if regular face-to-face instruction is delivered. Programs in this situation should continue to report assessment results in the LACES database.
  • may not administer NRS assessments remotely (including but not limited to NRS pre- and post-assessments, and NRS assessments used as placement tests).
  • may not adapt ACLS NRS assessment administration policies in any way.
  • may administer non-NRS assessments such as placement tests, quizzes, end-of-unit tests, and other forms of formative assessments remotely.

Further, without equitable access to learning (e.g., at least one CI is currently delivering face-to-face instruction while others have completely suspended adult education services), student performance, as measured by assessments, will inevitably be impacted. Therefore, ACLS will not hold programs accountable for the inability to assess during this crisis and will not include assessment results administered during the COVID-19 shutdown in performance reports.

Additionally, while some NRS test publishers (e.g., Center for Applied Linguistics, Data Recognition Corporation) have issued guidance for remote test administration, programs must abide by ACLS assessment policies and test publishers' guidance should not trump state assessment policies.

For questions related to NRS test administration policies and procedures, please contact Dana Varzan-Parker Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Specialist.
 

2. Reminder: Statewide Curriculum Survey

ACLS and UMass CEA are seeking feedback from teachers about the knowledge and skills taught in ABE classrooms. Please click on the link below to take a confidential survey about the knowledge and skills you teach in the classroom. Teachers who complete the survey will be entered for a chance to win one of four $50 Amazon gift cards.

Please choose one of the survey links below. The survey should take between 10 and 20 minutes. Thank you for completing the survey!

Survey for ABE Reading teachers

Survey for ABE Math teachers

Last Updated: April 23, 2020

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Parents and guardians questions can be directed to COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov

District and school staff's questions can be directed to: Reopeningk12@mass.gov

MTEL questions can be directed to TestHelp@doe.mass.edu

Questions related to educator licensure in Massachusetts, please call the Licensure Call Center: 781-338-6600, Hours: Monday-Friday 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm.

Helene Bettencourt
Associate Commissioner
Phone: 781-338-3120

 
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