[AAACE-NLA] NRS meeting
Beverly.Wilson at azed.gov
Thu Aug 12 19:03:46 EDT 2010
Thank you so much for sharing your summary and observations with the field! This is great information.
Professional Learning Manager
Arizona Department of Education
Adult Education Services
beverly.wilson at azed.gov<mailto:beverly.wilson at azed.gov>
"No improvement effort has ever succeeded in the absence of thoughtfully planned and well-implemented professional development."
(Thomas Guskey and Kwang Suk Yoon, "The Leading Edge", March 2009)
From: aaace-nla-bounces at lists.literacytent.org [mailto:aaace-nla-bounces at lists.literacytent.org] On Behalf Of Jeff Carter
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:12 AM
To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by AAACE; PROLITERACY LIST
Subject: Re: [AAACE-NLA] NRS meeting
I was at the meeting and I'm happy to share what I experienced.
First of all, it's not clear from OVAE's newsletter, but the state representatives who were invited to this meeting to discuss possible NRS changes were state directors (and staff). A few other organizations (including ProLiteracy, The National Coalition for Literacy, the GED testing service, CASAS, and a few others) were invited to attend as observers, meaning that for the most part we were not allowed to participate in the discussions (for the bulk of the meeting, they broke everyone into four groups to discus each each issue/recommendation presented). There were opportunities for observers to comment at the end of each of the small group discussions, and at the end of the day. I represented ProLiteracy.
Prior to the meeting, OVAE outlined six recommendations regarding changes to the NRS that they felt that they could get approval to move forward with over the next few months, with an eye toward possible implementation in the 2011-12 year or the year after, depending on how long it takes to get the necessary approvals from OMB. The meeting *did no*t address making fundamental changes to what they measure for accountability purposes. They indicated that these were the changes they felt they had support to change absent WIA reauthorization.
The meeting was in large part to get feedback from state directors on implementation issues regarding each recommendation. I'm not suggesting that there was no discussion on the substance of what was being proposed, but I think there was a degree of confidence that they were on the right track with these recommendations, and so OVAE was very focused at this meeting on finding out if there were implementation issues they had not considered.
OVAE indicated that they identified the issues discussed based on the comments they received during the listening sessions and during additional meetings that they have been having internally. The six areas and recommendations are as follows:
1. Instead of using goal-setting, identify learner cohorts for tracking employer-related outcomes.
Recommendation: Automatically designate all students who are unemployed and in the labor force as the cohort for which "entered employment" must be tracked. Automatically designate all students who enter the program employed as the cohort for which "retained employment" must be tracked.
2. Instead of using goal-setting, identify learner cohorts for postsecondary education follow up.
Recommendation: Automatically designate all students who have earned a GED, have a secondary credential, or are enrolled in a class specifically designed for transitioning to community college (e.g., bridge program, college readiness), as the cohort for which "entry into postsecondary education" must be tracked.
3. Instead of using goal-setting, identify learner cohorts for tracking secondary credential follow-up.
Recommendation: Match GED test records for all students who take tests during the year to calculate a pass rate. For States with adult high schools, report the number of students in high ASE who obtain a high school diploma. For States with EDP, report the number of students enrolled in the assessment phase who obtain a high school diploma.
4. Using additional measures of educational skill gains.
For this issue, OVAE did not present a recommendation for consideration by state directors, but instead outlined the challenges related to developing additional methods of measuring educational gain. The difficulty, they reported, is that changing the actual cut points and/or levels introduces a host of other challenges on reliability and validity of the tests. Long story short, for now they are not proposing any changes here, but they did not want to ignore the fact that it's an issue that people in the field expressed concern about.
5. Refining the NRS outcome measurement for GED prep students.
Recommendation: Create a separate level for GED prep students that includes all students who score at the secondary level on any NRS-approved test battery. Educational gain is not reported for these students, and they are not counted in calculation of education gain for any NRS level. The only reportable NRS outcome for these students is attainment of a secondary credential.
6. Progress and success in postsecondary.
Recommendation: Require programs with IET models to track progress toward and completion of a credential in the program of study in which the student is enrolled.
A couple of general observations: throughout the meeting, there was concern by state directors that to implement any of these there recommendations, there would need to be clear definitions of all measures and terms. There was also concern whether several of these changes proposed could be implemented in their states by the July 2011 program year, and related to that, discussion about the additional training and preparation that programs would need if these changes go through. Again, nothing was decided definitely and the soonest any of these changes could be implemented is the 2011-12 program year. The next step, as I understand it, is that OVAE is will take the information gathered at this meeting and produce a new set of draft recommendations that will then be reviewed by a smaller subset of state directors. Once that process is complete, the recommendations must be submitted to OMB for clearance and public comment. They estimated that this process would take 5 months at a minimum, likely longer.
Please feel free to follow-up with any questions you might have and I'l do my best to answer. Anyone else attending, feel free to correct or add to my notes.
On Aug 12, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Debbie Yoho wrote:
According to today's newsletter from OVAE, respresentatives from each state met in Washington DC last week to discuss potential changes to the NRS. Was anyone on this list present and if so, what were the chief issues discussed? Thanks.
Turning Pages Adult Literacy
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Director of Policy and Government Affairs
ProLiteracy - Washington DC Office
jcarter at proliteracy.org<mailto:jcarter at proliteracy.org>
1612 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
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