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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Assessment Guidance During COVID-19

1. Reminders

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 is asking that all adult education providers put the administration of NRS pre- and post-assessments on hold until further notice.

ACLS understands that factors such as programs' wide range of abilities to provide online instruction, uneven student access to digital tools, and interruptions to regular instruction are just some of the factors preventing learning from taking place equitably across service providers. Without equitable access to learning, student performance, as measured by assessments, will inevitably be impacted. ACLS will not hold programs accountable for the inability to assess during this crisis.

To protect the health and safety of students and program staff and to comply with test administration procedures as outlined in the ACLS Assessment Manual, programs in CALCs may not administer in-person assessments, including but not limited to NRS pre- and post-assessments, NRS assessments used as placement tests, and program-developed placement tests.

None of the NRS assessments used in Massachusetts (BEST Plus 2.0, TABE CLAS E-Reading, TABE CLAS E-Writing, MAPT-CCR, TABE Literacy, TABE 11/12) may be administered remotely and programs may not adapt ACLS NRS assessment administration policies in any way.

Non-NRS assessments such as placement tests, quizzes, end-of-unit tests, and other forms of formative assessments may be administered remotely.

Further, 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 does not trump state assessment policies.

Please note that the above policies apply to all CALCs. ACLS will communicate with adult education providers in Correctional Institutions about specific assessment needs in a separate memo.

ACLS and UMass Center for Educational Assessment (CEA) are currently discussing solutions and potential flexibilities for FY2021 remote administration of NRS assessments in the event of a prolonged COVID-19 crisis beyond summer 2020 and will promptly communicate any changes to the current policies.

Statewide Curriculum Survey

ACLS and 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

2. Deadline for BEST PLUS 2.0 and CLAS E-Writing Recertification-Extended Until June 30, 2020

ACLS and CEA understand that program staff are currently focusing their efforts on providing remote learning or other forms of remote support to students and have therefore extended the deadline for the annual BEST Plus 2.0 and CLAS E-Writing recertification even further. The new deadline is June 30, 2020.

Please note that test administrators who do not submit their annual recertification by June 30, 2020, cannot administer BEST Plus 2.0 and/or CLAS E-Writing tests in FY2021 and must retrain if they wish to maintain their certification status beyond July 1, 2020.

CEA will contact program directors to develop a plan to support test administrators at their program meet this extended deadline. Program directors whose staff have yet to submit a recertification test should expect to hear from Francis O'Donnell and/or April Zenisky soon.

Last Updated: April 21, 2020

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