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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

FY2020 CLAS-E-Writing Instructions

To:Adult Education Program Directors
From:Wyvonne Stevens-Carter, Adult Education State Director
Date:January 27, 2020

If your program uses the BEST Plus 2.0 for pre- and post-testing, please review the recertification instructions below to learn about the requirements your staff must satisfy between February 3 and March 31, 2020.

All practitioners eligible for recertification should have received a copy of instructions from the UMass Amherst Center for Educational Assessment (CEA). The instructions were sent to the email address the CEA had on file for each practitioner, which you had a chance to review between January 6 and January 21. If you did not receive an email from the CEA titled "Please Respond: Recertification Status," please email as soon as possible.

The materials needed for recertification are listed below. If your program is missing any of these materials, they must be purchased from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) as soon as possible.

Please remember that practitioners must complete the scoring activity individually and must not, under any circumstances, have access to the scoring activity answer keys that are part of the Scoring Refresher Toolkit. We recommend removing the answer keys from the Toolkit and keeping them in a separate, secure location.

In April, after the recertification period is over, you will receive an email with the status of all BEST Plus 2.0 administrators in your program.

Winter/Spring 2020 BEST Plus 2.0 Recertification Instructions

To ensure scoring accuracy statewide, BEST Plus 2.0 test administrators need to be recertified by administering a minimum of 10 BEST Plus 2.0 tests within the last fiscal year, taking part in a Scoring Refresher, and successfully completing a 30-minute Scoring Activity.

Practitioners who became initially certified after July 1, 2019 or earned RRR consecutively from FY2016-2018 or FY2017-2019 are exempt from recertification.

Scoring Refresher

To complete a Scoring Refresher, practitioners must use the following materials:

  • A 3-ring binder entitled, BEST Plus Scoring Refresher Toolkit, with two accompanying DVDs (The Refresher DVD and the Scoring Activities DVD); and
  • A booklet entitled, BEST Plus Scoring Refresher Workbook, Test Administrator's Edition,.

All programs that use the BEST Plus 2.0 should have these materials available for practitioners.

The Toolkit and Workbook may be used by an individual test administrator or by a group. Participating in a group is preferred, since test administrators benefit from each other's questions and experience. If a group Scoring Refresher is done, a facilitator is required. If the Refresher is done individually, the BEST Plus 2.0 administrator needs to read the Toolkit and accompanying facilitator's edition of the Workbook during the Refresher. The Toolkit contains helpful information and also the Workbook with additional details for the facilitator.

A BEST Plus 2.0 Recertification Q&A Webinar was conducted in 2019. To access a recording of the webinar and a transcript of the Q&A, please go to the ACLS Test Help blog and click on "Protected: BEST Plus Materials" under Recent Posts, then enter the password umass. Many details from the Scoring Refresher DVD were included in the webinar, but ACLS still highly recommends conducting a separate Scoring Refresher. Practitioners may consider watching the webinar and then taking part in a Scoring Refresher to focus on the areas that still need attention.

Scoring Activity

Practitioners will have two months to complete Scoring Activity 2 from the Scoring Activities DVD and submit your answers online. Practitioners must submit their answers between Monday, February 3 and Tuesday, March 31. Please note that the submission instructions have changed.

We strongly recommend that practitioners first score on the paper version of the Scoring Activity 2 answer sheet from the Scoring Refresher Workbook. When they are ready to submit their answers, they go to

Practitioners will receive an email with their scores in each section of the BEST Plus 2.0 rubric immediately. Using the key below (also included in the email), practitioners can determine their own recertification status:

  • R R R: Pass
  • R R A in any combination: Pass
  • R A A in any combination: Pass
  • A A A: Phone remediation required
  • U in any area: Retraining required

(R = recommended; A = acceptable; U = unacceptable)

Practitioners who pass right away may continue administering the BEST Plus 2.0 test for the remainder of FY2020 and in FY2021. If they have earned auto-recertification for the next two years by scoring RRR for three consecutive years, their program director will be notified at the end of the recertification period.

Practitioners who do not pass right away must wait to be contacted by the UMass Amherst CEA and go through phone remediation or retraining to be able to administer the BEST Plus 2.0 in FY2021. (Note: They may still administer the test until the end of FY2020, but that should be avoided if possible - especially if retraining is needed).

Contact Information

For technical assistance and questions about recertification requirements, please contact the UMass Amherst Center for Educational Assessment at

For assessment policy matters, please contact Dana Varzan-Parker, ACLS Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Specialist at

c: SABES, ACLS Staff

Last Updated: January 27, 2020

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