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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

FY11 Meaningful Gain Information

August 26, 2011

Dear Program Directors:

Please read this important assessment information regarding meaningful gain determinations for the TABE CLAS-E and TABE Forms 9/10.

As you know, Massachusetts measures ABE learner gains two ways. First, Massachusetts complies with federal regulations and reports the number of adult learners completing or advancing one or more Educational Functioning Levels (EFL) as defined by the US Department of Education's National Reporting System (NRS). Massachusetts is required by the US Department of Education to not only report learning gains based on EFL completion rates, but also to use EFL completion rates as a measure of program performance. For more information about measuring the completion of Educational Functioning Levels, please refer to the Massachusetts Assessment Policy manuals.

In addition to measuring learning gains by EFL completion rates, Massachusetts measures "meaningful educational gain." Meaningful educational gain is measured solely by the improvement in test scores between the pre- and post-test and does not take into consideration Educational Functioning Levels.

Since the TABE CLAS-E and the TABE 9/10 were new tests for Massachusetts in FY11, we did not have any test data to analyze or to use to determine meaningful gain. Only after post-tests were completed in June was the staff at the Center for Educational Assessment at UMASS Amherst able to begin computing the amount of meaningful gain for these two new assessments.

The meaningful gain information for FY11 follows:

  • The amount of meaningful gain for the TABE CLAS-E Writing Assessment is measured by an increase of 25 or more scale score points. For example, an adult learner's post-test score would need to be 25 scale score point higher than his/her pre-test score to have achieved meaningful gain.
  • The amount of meaningful gain for the TABE 9/10 Reading Sub-test is measured by an increase of 24 or more scale score points. For example, an adult learner's post-test score would need to be 24 scale score point higher than his/her pre-test score to have achieved meaningful gain.
  • The amount of meaningful gain for the TABE 9/10 Combined Math Sub-tests is measured by an increase of 26 or more scale score points. For example, an adult learner's post-test score would need to be 26 scale score point higher than his/her pre-test score to have achieved meaningful gain.
  • The amount of meaningful gain for the TABE 9/10 Language (Writing) Sub-tests is measured by an increase of 23 or more scale score points. For example, an adult learner's post-test score would need to be 23 scale score point higher than his/her pre-test score to have achieved meaningful gain.
  • The amount of meaningful gain for the Literacy Level of the TABE 9/10 is measured by an increase of 32 or more scale score points. For example, an adult learner's post-test score would need to be 32 scale score point higher than his/her pre-test score to have achieved meaningful gain.

There has been no change in the amount of scale score points used for meaningful gain with the MAPT or the BEST Plus:

  • Meaningful educational gain for BEST Plus is measured by an increase of 33 or more scale score points
  • Meaningful educational gain for the MAPT is measured by an increase of 21 or more scale score points

Reports reflecting programs' performance standards based on these and other data will be released on September 2.

Important Note: ACLS has not received a response from the USDOE regarding our request to not count the CLAS-E test scores for FY11. Until ACLS receives a definitive answer from USDOE regarding our request, all programs must continue to test with the CLAS-E and report these test scores into SMARTT. Based on the response from the USDOE, ACLS will also determine the appropriate action to take with the test scores as they are reflected in meaningful gain data.

If you have any questions, please contact April Zenisky at azenisky@educ.umass.edu. Thank you for your continued hard work.

With Literacy in Mind.

Anne Serino
ABE State Director
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education



Last Updated: August 31, 2011
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