The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148-5023
Telephone: (781) 338-3000
TTY: N.E.T. Relay 1-800-439-2370
Adult and Community Learning Services
TO:
ABE Directors, SABES Coordinators, WIA Administrators, Career Centers, LWIB,
Teacher/All Staff
FROM:
Jolanta Conway, ABE State Director
DATE:
April 17, 2015
RE:
What's in this Mailing?
The monthly mailing for April is now posted to our ACLS website. Please review the information and share with your
staff.

ABE Directors’ Meeting - Leading the Way: Innovation and Opportunity: Registration has been sent out
and is posted to our ACLS website. http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=17911 Deadline for
registration is Friday, April 24th at 5PM. The Directors’ Meeting will be held at the Westford Regency Inn &
Conference Center, 219 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886.

New URL for ABE Licensure
Licensure has a new home on the official website of the Executive Office of Education.
Information about the ABE licenses can now be found at:
http://www.mass.gov/edu/government/departments-and-boards/ese/programs/educatoreffectiveness/licensure/abe/

Community Planning
ACLS will be conducting a series of webinars on Community Planning based on the training that was
conducted in 2014. Connections to the WIOA legislation will be shared during the webinars.

Family Engagement
April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month for good reason—Too many Americans are
insufficiently educated about their personal finances! Fortunately, an individual can improve his or her position
no matter when he or she gets started on a path to financial wellness. Here are some resources to get started.

HiSET ®
The 2015 HiSET® is quite different in many ways from the 2014 test. A general overview of the changes can
be gleaned by comparing the HiSET ® 2015 “Test at a Glance” document,
http://hiset.ets.org/s/pdf/2015_taag.pdf, with the 2014 version, http://hiset.ets.org/s/pdf/2014_taag.pdf.
Following are more details on the individual subtests, with notes on their alignment to the College and Career
Readiness Standards for Adult Education, both the actual Standards and the Shifts

SMARTT Update
-Program Plans Move to FY16 on Thursday, May 21
- Automatic Exit – March 15, 2015
- Waitlist Procedures
- NRS Cohort Follow-up
- SMARTT/Cognos Trainings and Support

Network 2015
MCAE’S annual conference will be conducted on FRIDAY, MAY 15th at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
and Conference Center in Marlborough, MA from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Register for NETWORK 2015 by
going to the MCAE website – www.mcae.net. The registration deadline is May 1!
1

America’s Literacy Directory
The America’s Literacy Directory, part of the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS), allows
students to search for programs by location and desired services. LINCS needs your help to ensure that the
directory provides students with the most up-to-date information!

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Draft Regulations
FY16 is a transition year for Adult Education. During FY16, ACLS and the field will transition from the current
federal legislation, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) which since 1998 has served as the guiding legislation
for the ABE system to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA was signed into law by
President Obama on July 22, 2014 and will be in effect until 2020. This represents the first major reform in the
U.S. workforce system in over a decade.
As of April 16, 2015, the NPRMs are now available for public comment at www.regulations.gov for 60 days.
The Departments plan to analyze these public comments and anticipate issuing Final Rules implementing
WIOA in early 2016.
ACLS will hold Regional Meetings to discuss these regulations and seek your feedback. The dates and
locations will be sent out as soon as possible.
2
UPCOMING ACLS COMMUNITY PLANNING WEBINARS
ACLS will be conducting a series of webinars on Community Planning based on the training that was conducted in
2014. Connections to the WIOA legislation will be shared during the webinars.

May 11:
Membership Recruitment: Marketing Your ABE Community Planning
Coalition to Businesses and the Community, 2:00 – 3:30

May 27:
Sensemaking: Context to Guide the Coalition, 2:00 – 3:30

June 11:
The Nuts and Bolts of an Efficient ABE Community Planning Coalition,
2:00 – 3:30
All information and registration on the webinars is posted on the SABES calendar:
http://www.sabes.org/calendar
If you have any questions or need information, please contact Patricia Pelletier who will be conducting the webinars:
[email protected] or Kathy Rodriguez, ACLS Team Leader: [email protected]
3
Family Engagement
April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month for good reason—Too many Americans are insufficiently
educated about their personal finances! Fortunately, an individual can improve his or her position no matter when
he or she gets started on a path to financial wellness. Here are some resources to get started.
 Mass Literacy
It's important to teach students financial literacy skills so they can make smart financial decisions. In celebration of
Financial Literacy Month, Mass Literacy partnered with MassMutual, Junior Achievement, and the Allstate
Foundation to print a financial literacy guide packed with activities for learners in elementary, middle, and high
school. Visit: http://www.massliteracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BeMoneySmart.pdf
 National Center for Family Literacy
The National Center for Families Learning and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation teamed up to educate
families about money management through A Day at Dollar General: Learn While Shopping. An online interactive
game helps families start the conversation about money management and makes it fun to learn basic budgeting
skills. Visit: http://familieslearning.org/interactive_tools/day_at_dollar_general
 Feed the Pig
Feed the Pig is part of a national public service campaign sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs and The
Advertising Council. The goal of the campaign is to encourage and help Americans aged 25 to 34 to take control of
their personal finances. Visitors will find tools, articles, free savings tips, and other resources to help them reduce
debt, increase savings, and work towards financial stability. Visit: http://www.feedthepig.org/
 Your Life, Your Money
Your Life, Your Money, features stories of young people facing and overcoming economic challenges; empowers
youth by raising awareness about banking, credit, investments, budgeting, insurance, and more; and provides
sound, simple financial advice. The website provides tools and resources to help parents and educators create
activities and lesson plans. Visit: http://www.pbs.org/your-life-your-money/more/what_is_financial_literacy.php
 Money as Your Grow
Money as You Grow was selected by the American Library Association as one of its great websites for kids. The
website offers 20 essential, age-appropriate financial lessons—with corresponding activities—that kids need to
know as they grow. Written in down-to-earth language for children and their families, Money as You Grow will help
equip kids with the knowledge they need to live fiscally fit lives. Visit: http://moneyasyougrow.org/
 mymoney.gov
mymoney.gov is a product of the Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, made up of more than 20
federal entities working together to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all
Americans. The website provides information, games, and fun facts for youth as well as curricula, lesson plans,
and tip sheets for teaching financial capability. Visit: http://www.mymoney.gov/Pages/default.aspx
 Money Smart for Adults
The Money Smart for Adults curriculum consists of 11 training modules that cover basic financial topics. The topics
include a description of deposit and credit services offered by financial institutions, choosing and maintaining a
checking account, spending plans, the importance of saving, how to obtain and use credit effectively, and the
basics of building or repairing credit. Visit: https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/adult.html
4
Updates on the 2015 HiSET®
The 2015 HiSET®
The 2015 HiSET® is quite different in many ways from the 2014 test. A general overview of the changes can be
gleaned by comparing the HiSET® 2015 “Test at a Glance” document, http://hiset.ets.org/s/pdf/2015_taag.pdf, with the
2014 version, http://hiset.ets.org/s/pdf/2014_taag.pdf. Following are more details on the individual subtests, with notes
on their alignment to the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, both the actual Standards and
the Shifts:
Language Arts-Reading, Social Studies, and Science
 Passages are more sophisticated and complex than on the now-defunct GED and the 2014 HiSET® (aligned to
ELA Shift 1: Complexity)
Language Arts-Reading
 All reading is based on evidence from text (aligned to ELA Shift 2: Evidence)
 Emphasizes close reading: the effect and effectiveness of individual words, phrases, and sentences (aligned
to ELA Shift 1: Complexity, and ELA Shift 2: Evidence)
 Strong alignment to Reading Anchor Standards 1-2, 4, and 6, through Level D
Science
 Emphasis on the Scientific Method: setting up experiments and analyzing their results
 Seventy percent (or more) of the items refer to charts, graphs, tables, or diagrams
 Aligned to:
o Math Shift 3: Rigor
o Math Domains “Measurement and Data” and “Statistics and Probability”
o Mathematical Practices 1-2, and 6
o Reading Anchor Standards for Reading, above, plus Anchor Standards 7 and 8, through Level D
Social Studies
 Helpful Knowledge
o Basic U.S. Geography
o Civil War plus 20th Century Wars
o Foundations Documents
o Forms of Government/Economic Systems


Fifty percent of the items refer to charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, or political cartoons
Aligned to:
o Reading Anchor Standards for Reading, above, plus Anchor Standards 7 and 8, through Level D
o Math Domains “Measurement and Data” and “Statistics and Probability”
Language Arts-Writing
 Proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling are very important on Part 1 despite the de-emphasis of Content
Category III: Writing Conventions (aligned to Language Anchor Standards 1 and 2, through levels D/E)
 The Essay for 2015 is essentially the same, but…
 The 2016 essay will be based on evidence from text (aligned to ELA Shift 2: Evidence), and…
 The 2016 scoring rubric will be changed (aligned to Language Anchor Standards 1 and 2)
 Strong alignment to Writing Anchor Standards 1-2 and 4, through Levels D/E
Math



The number of test items in the Content Category IV: Algebraic Concepts has almost doubled; furthermore…
The additional 2015 algebra items are at a higher level than the 2014 items:
o Polynomials
o Quadratic Equations
o Functions
o Rotations, Dilations, Translations
Many of the new items are decontextualized à la the Accuplacer:
5

“Which values below are the solutions to
x2 + 3x – 8 = 2”
A handful of Test Items (<5 total) involve trigonometric ratios (sine, cosine, tangent) and imaginary numbers
2015 Practice Tests
Several sets of Practice Tests, in both English and Spanish and aligned with the 2015 HiSET ®, are now available.



One set of free Practice Tests, FPT2
Two sets of Practice Tests available for purchase, PPT2 and PPT3
One set of Official Practice Tests, available for purchase only by agencies, OPT2
These can be purchased either through the ETS Store, http://store.ets.org, or by going onto the HiSET ® website,
www.hiset.ets.org and following the set of links below:
 “For States and Educators”
 “Resources”
 “Download Library”
 “Test Preparation”
Note 1: the Official Practice Tests, OPT2, can be ordered only through the HiSET ® website, “Official Practice Test
Order Form.”
Note 2: 2013-14 Practice Tests are still available, FPT1 and PPT1; however, they are not aligned to the 2015 HiSET ®
and so are of limited value going forward.
Calculator Use and the 2015 HiSET ® Math Subtest
“A Brief History of the Calculator,” by Tom Mechem
In the beginning, ETS declared the HiSET® math subtest “calculator neutral,” meaning that a calculator was not
needed, but because an online drop-down calculator was available to examinees taking the computer-based test, one
had to be available for paper-based testers too to keep the playing field level. We showed them the Casio fx-260 to
see if that would meet with their approval since it was the GED calculator so the test centers had them in stock and
most prep centers had them as well. They approved that calculator for use on the HiSET® and also allowed that
computer-based testers could have a Casio hand-held calculator if they so chose.
When we learned about the changes to the 2015 math test, we asked again if the Casio was an approved calculator.
We were concerned since it has the ability to deal with trigonometric functions, quadratics, and probability---all items
on the 2015 test that were not on the 2014 test---and this time they said “No.” Date of that declaration: March 12, 2015.
Date of the implementation of the 2015 HiSET®: January 1, 2015. As of right now, the new calculator policy is as
follows:

Examinees taking the paper-based HiSET® must be given a hand-held calculator automatically.

For paper-based testing, test centers may issue any brand of hand-held calculator. However, the calculator
must contain the following features (and only the following features):
o The four arithmetic operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide)
o A percent key
o A square root key
o Three memory buttons
Any calculator with features other than these is prohibited.

For computer-based testing individual must use the drop down calculator on the computer.
As a result of the ETS calculator policy change, the HiSET ® Governing Board, comprised of adult education directors
from the HiSET® states, is evaluating this policy. There may be further changes in the near future.
6
SMARTT Update, April 2015
1. Program Plans Move to FY16 on Thursday, May 21
All program plans will be moved to FY16 on Thursday, May 21, at 6:30 PM during the regular SMARTT
maintenance timeframe. Federally funded programs must verify with their program specialists that the summer
classes (7/1/2015 – 8/31/2015) listed in the FY15 plan are accurate before the program plans are moved to FY16.
Since programs received additional funding mid-year, they will need to look carefully at their design for FY16 to
determine services for the full year. The updated program plan guide combines the reference materials and
the technical manual for FY16. It will be posted on the SMARTT section of the ACLS website by the end of
April.
2. Automatic Exit – March 15, 2015
There were 128 students who were auto exited on March 15, 2015 who had no attendance for the months of
October 2014 through February 2015. SMARTT automatically exits a student from the site when both conditions
below occur:
1) No attendance (class, match, and distance learning curricula attendance) was recorded for that
student during the three most recent months which have been “locked out” from data entry, (August,
September, October); and
2) No attendance has yet been entered for that student during the current two month period
(November and December) for which data entry is allowed.
The next auto exit will be on April 15 for students who had no attendance for November 2014 through March 2015.
Automatic Exit
Schedule
Month of Last
Attendance
No Attendance in
These Months
System
Assigned
Exit Date
December 1, 2014
January 15, 2015
February 15, 2015
March 15, 2015
April 15, 2015
May 15, 2015
June 15,2015
July 15, 2015
August 15, 2015
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
July – November
August – December
September – January
October – February
November – March
December – April
January – May
February – June
March - June
June 30
July 31
August 31
September 30
October 31
November 30
December 31
June 30
June 30
September 15, 2015
March
April – June
June 30
Number
Exited
420
229
231
128
3. Waitlist Procedures
Here are the procedures
that users need to follow related to intaking a student on the waitlist and removing a student from the waitlist.
To Intake a Student Currently on the Waitlist:
1) Access the Student page and click on the ‘Add Student’ button in the left navigation
pane.
2) Enter the required Student information into the “Student Search Criteria - Phase 1” page
and click Search.
3) Locate the student on the ‘Select Student to Intake’ pop-up page and click anywhere on the row of the
student’s record.
NOTE: Students on the waitlist will have the word “Waitlist” imbedded in the ID.
4) Select a Student to Intake and continue adding the Student information.
7
NOTE: Only if the Student was not found in the search results and you are certain the
search criteria you entered is correct, click on the ‘Create a New Student’ button to add
the NEW Student. Fill in all required fields in all tabs and click on the ‘Save Intake’
button to add the Student.
To Remove a Student Currently on the Waitlist
NOTE: If a Student was inadvertently added without using the Waitlist – Convert to Full option or the Intake a
Student Current on the Waitlist procedure outlined above, then the following procedure can be used to remove a
Student who is current on the waitlist and has already been intaken.
1)
2)
3)
4)
Access the Waitlist page and click on the ‘Remove Waitlist’ button in left navigation pane.
Enter the required Student information and click Search.
Click on the Student you intend to remove from the waitlist.
Enter the Remove Date (the Remove Date cannot be in the future) and click the Save
button. The Waitlist Remove page lists the removed Students.
Waitlist – Convert to Full
NOTE: This option on the Waitlist page will be removed in the near future. Please use the Intake a Student
Current on the Waitlist procedure outlined above.
4. NRS Cohort Follow-up
Be sure to follow-up with students who are listed on the NRS Cohort screen as requiring follow-up. Data matching
only applies to students who signed the confidentiality agreement and provided a social security number. Here are
some reminders about when to contact students for the employment measures.
Entered Employment
If the exit occurred during January, February, or March, the follow-up should occur with the student on or after July
1. During the follow-up call, the former student should be asked if he/she had any employment at anytime during
April – June. If the student is unsure of the exact date but knows the month of their employment, enter into
SMARTT any date within the same month.
Exit Occurs
During These
Months
January,
February,
or March
Employment
Period
Anytime during
April - June
Contact Students
Anytime on or after
July 1
Information to Collect During
Contact
Yes/No – if student was working
during employment period
Retained Employment
If the exit occurred between July and September 2013, the follow-up should occur with the student by the end of
the third quarter. The caller should request information regarding the employment status during April – June
2014. You do not want to follow-up too soon for the retained employment cohort.
Exit Occurs
During These
Months
July, August, or
September of last
year
Employment
Period
Anytime during
April - June of this
year
Contact Students
Anytime on or after
July 1
Information to Collect During
Contact
Yes/No – if student was working
during employment period
If the student indicates “Yes”, then there is no need to ask for a specific date indicating beginning date of
employment. For the purposes of recording the information, any date in April – June can be entered into
SMARTT.
8
5. SMARTT/Cognos Trainings and Support
SMARTT New User (Online) 04/21/2015 8:00 a.m. - 05/15/2015 - 5:00 p.m.
Presenter: Charlie Herbert
The SMARTT New User is an online Moodle training that is designed to give participants a hands-on experience in
using SMARTT.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to…
1. Describe the purposes and uses of SMARTT for accountability and program management;
2. Identify SMARTT features and terminology, and navigate through the various sections;
3. Perform basic data entry functions (e.g., adding students; adding and entering goals,
assessments, and follow up; enrolling students in classes and entering attendance; exiting
students from class and Site; adding data into the professional development module);
4. Access SMARTT manual on the web, SMARTT Updates via the ACLS monthly mailings, and the SMARTT
FAQs on the SABES web site; and
5. Obtain SMARTT technical assistance with SABES Tech Support, and subscribe to the SMARTT listserv.
Description:
Massachusetts programs funded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) are required
to have two staff members who completed this training. This online workshop is completely asynchronous,
meaning it can be done on your own time, but it must be completed within the timeframe posted. There are
required assignments and projects. Upon successful completion, participants will be given four hours professional
development credit, as well as a certificate of completion.
System Requirements:
Browser: SMARTT only works with Internet Explorer. If you have IE 10 or IE 11, contact Charlie Herbert for
compatibility steps.
Monitor Resolution: A monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater is required. SMARTT screens are designed for
monitors with at least a minimum of this resolution.
Questions? Please contact Donna Cornellier at [email protected]
9
May 15, 2015 – NETWORK 2015
Calling All ABE/ESOL Practitioners
NETWORK 2015, the annual conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education, will be held
on FRIDAY, MAY 15th at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Marlborough, MA from
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
REGISTRATION is NOW OPEN: www.mcae.net
The registration deadline is May 1!
Sign up early to access the sessions you want most to attend!
At NETWORK, teachers, counselors, program directors, and collaborators come together to learn about issues on
delivering quality basic education for adults. It’s the once-a-year opportunity to network with peers from across the
state to discuss and learn about quality services to students.
56 sessions are offered to highlight issues that practitioners want to hear about, and topics will address math,
science, reading, writing, technology, educational and career advising, and more. Also, you can investigate new
materials and services at over 18 vendor booths.
Many believe that sharing with colleagues at NETWORK makes the day most worthwhile. The award ceremony will
celebrate the successes of both colleagues and students, and again this year, a scholarship award will be given to a
deserving student.
Register for NETWORK 2015 by going to the MCAE website – www.mcae.net. Discount rates to stay at the hotel on
the night of May 14th are available until April 11th.
GO TO www.mcae.net to register today.
10
America's Literacy Directory
The America’s Literacy Directory, part of the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS), allows
students to search for programs by location and desired services. LINCS needs your help to ensure that the directory
provides students with the most up-to-date information!
The LINCS team has made it easier for you to update program information and for students to locate the best
programs. The data fields have been streamlined, and the look and feel of the directory has been modernized.
Is your information listed correctly? Please take a few minutes to check and update your program information. Please
note that you will need to log in, check, update, and save in order for program information to remain current:
https://literacydirectory.org.
Help spread the word to other adult education service providers. Have them log in to check and update their programs
here: https://literacydirectory.org/admin.
The ultimate goal is for adult students across the country to have a one-stop-shop for locating education programs.
We thank you for your time and dedication to serving adult education students!
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]
11
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Draft Regulations
FY16 is a transition year for Adult Education. During FY16, ACLS and the field will transition from the current federal
legislation, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) which since 1998 has served as the guiding legislation for the ABE
system to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA was signed into law by President Obama on
July 22, 2014 and will be in effect until 2020. This represents the first major reform in the U.S. workforce system in
over a decade.
The FY16 continuation application will assist ACLS-funded programs in the transition to WIOA and therefore will signal
some WIOA-required activities. The WIOA will become effective July 1, 2015 and full implementation is required for
FY 17. Note: Some WIOA provisions, such as the performance accountability system however, will not go into full
effect until FY 16 (July 1, 2016),
Below are the draft regulations to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which have been
posted to the Federal Register website. They come in five parts, known as Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs),
that each address different aspects of the law:





Unified and Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, and the One-Stop System Joint
Provisions (Joint DOL/ED);
Remaining Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provisions administered by DOL;
Title II Adult Education and Literacy administered by ED;
Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation administered by ED; and
Miscellaneous Program Changes administered by ED.
As of April 16, 2015, the NPRMs are now available for public comment at www.regulations.gov for 60 days. The
Departments plan to analyze these public comments and anticipate issuing Final Rules implementing WIOA in early
2016.
ACLS will hold Regional Meetings to discuss these regulations and seek your feedback. The dates and locations will
be sent out as soon as possible.
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ACLS April 2015 Monthly Mailing - Massachusetts Department of