Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

FY2018 Assessment Policy Memorandum

To:Adult Education Directors
From:Jolanta Conway, Adult Education State Director
Date:March 21, 2018

The purpose of this memorandum is twofold:
  1. Highlight the two assessment policy changes made to Assessment Policy # 1—Three Assessments in a Fiscal Year, Assessment Policy # 2—Primary Assessment Area and Assessment Policy # 3—Pre- and Post-Testing. These changes are effective FY 2018 and were announced in the October 2017, December 2017 and January 2018 monthly mailings.

  2. Announce other important assessment updates.

For any assessment-related questions, please contact Dana Varzan-Parker, Program and Assessment Specialist.
  1. Assessment Policy Changes-Reminder

    • Assessment Policy # 1: Three Assessments in a Fiscal Year

      EFL Progression Based on First and Best Scores

      EFL progression must be achieved within the duration of a fiscal year in order for the EFL outcome to count towards the program's MSG target. Students must be tested with a NRS approved standardized assessment no more than three times in a content area in a fiscal year.

      Effective FY2018, EFL outcomes from the first test (pre-test) and best post-test will count towards programs' measurable skill gains targets in situations where students have two post-tests (a mid-year post test and an end-of-year post-test).

      This policy replaces the old policy where EFL progression is based on the first test and the last test given in a fiscal year (July 1–June 30).

      Under the old policy: for example, if a student is pre-tested in September and then post-tested in December, EFL progression is determined by the December test score compared to the September pre-test score. However, if the student is pre-tested in September, post-tested in December and again post-tested in April, the student's EFL outcome is determined by the April score compared to the September pre-test score.

      Under the new policy: for example, if a student is pre-tested in September and then post-tested in December, EFL progression is determined by the December test score compared to the September pre-test score. However, if the student is pre-tested in September, post-tested in December and again post-tested in April, the student's EFL outcome is determined by the higher of the two post-test scores compared to the September pre-test score.

    • Assessment Policy # 2: Primary Assessment Area (PAA)

      A student's PAA is chosen based on the skill or content area (reading, math, writing, speaking, listening) in which the student needs to improve as expressed by the student or determined by the program. The PAA is set in SMARTT by checking the PAA box for a student's assessment.

      Change effective October 2018 as announced in the October 2017 monthly mailing: The PAA must not be changed during the fiscal year except when a student moves from ESOL services to ABE services (or vice versa).

      Change effective January 12, 2018 as announced in the January 2018 monthly mailing: The PAA must be set before the monthly attendance lockout period.

    • Assessment Policy # 3: Pre- and Post-Testing

      Pre-testing: All students must be pre-tested within the first 18 hours of attendance but students can be pre-tested prior to enrollment (with the exception of MAPT, see MAPT section in chapter 5-Test Administration Procedures). All students with a pre-test must be enrolled in the SMARTT database.

      Change effective January 12, 2018 as announced in the January 2018 monthly mailing: Exception to the 18 attendance hour pre-testing policy

      Due to the time-consuming re-testing requirements of the CLAS E-Reading and the CLAS E-Writing assessments (see chapter 5-Test Administration Procedures of the Assessment Policy Manual), programs using these two assessments can administer these pre-tests after students have reached 18 attendance hours.

      It is, however, in the best interest of programs to re-test students (if applicable as per the CLAS E-Writing and CLAS E-Reading re-testing guidelines-see CLAS E sections in chapter 5 of the Assessment Policy Manual) as soon as possible to ensure that 65 hours of instruction (see post-testing policy in chapter 2 of the Assessment Policy Manual) occur between pre-tests and post-tests.

  2. Other Assessment Updates:

    • Assessment Policies Webinar

      In order to review all assessment policies and highlight the recent changes, ACLS will be hosting a live webinar on April 11, 2018 from 10 to 11 AM. This webinar will be repeated on April 26, 2018 from 3 to 4 PM. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the presenter via the webinar chat box. Registration links will be sent out soon.

    • CLAS E-Writing Recertification Deadline Extension

      Due to the recent snow storms and the resulting school and office closings, the deadline for submitting the CLAS E-Writing recertification has been extended until March 30, 2018.

      Note that only the recertification instructions and the recertification form for program director/assessment coordinators are uploaded on the ACLS website due to the use of real test items in the recertification and refresher packets.

      As a reminder: to prepare for scoring the recertification test, practitioners must first review the following materials:

      1. CLAS-E Expository Writing Rubrics with the Embedded Notes to the Scorer;
      2. Supplementary Scoring Guide for the CLAS-E Expository Writing Assessment;
      3. TABE CLAS-E Writing Scoring Guide, which includes the Sample Responses in Parts 4 and 5.

      The CLAS-E Expository Writing Rubrics with the Embedded Notes to the Scorer and the Supplementary Scoring Guide for the CLAS-E Expository Writing Assessment have been attached here for your convenience. Each program should already have a copy of the TABE CLAS E-Writing Scoring Guide.

      Instructions on how to recertify, the recertification form for program directors, the recertification packet and the refresher packet have been emailed in the February monthly mailing and are also included below for your convenience:

    • SABES Assessment Center

      As announced in the December 2018 monthly mailing, beginning in FY2019, training and support for all required standardized assessments, including certification and recertification, will be consolidated under the Center for Educational Assessment (CEA) in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Standardized assessment support will no longer be part of the SABES PD system. CEA is currently responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of the MAPT.





Last Updated: March 21, 2018



 
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