The federal government has provided adult basic education funding to states for more than forty years, beginning with the Adult Education Act of 1966. Under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II of 1998, adult education and literacy funding channels were combined as the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA). The Division of Adult Education and Literacy, under the Office of Vocational Education and Adult Education (OVAE) in the U.S. Department of Education (ED), administers the AEFLA. AEFLA funding supports instruction in reading, numeracy, General Educational Development (GED) preparation, and English literacy. Assessments related to these areas can also be supported by AEFLA funding.
AEFLA funding flows from the state to eligible institutions. These include local educational agencies, communitybased organizations, volunteer literacy organizations, institutions of higher education, libraries, public housing authorities, one-stop career centers, the military, and correctional institutions. State grants under AEFLA are distributed by formula, based on the number of adults over age sixteen who are not enrolled in school and have not completed high school. Program goals are to:
- • Assist adults in becoming literate and obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency
- • Assess adults who are parents in obtaining the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children
- • Assist adults in the completion of a secondary school education
The law authorizing WIA expired in 2003. Since the expiration, Congress has introduced reauthorization legislation, appropriated funding annually since then, and approved the authority of the OVAE to administer the program. The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act was introduced, but not passed, in the 111th Congress (2009-2010). Proposed changes included more emphasis on literacy and workplace skills and stronger alignment between federallyfunded adult education and job training programs. Reauthorization discussions are expected to continue in the 112th Congress (2011-2012). The program received $628.2 million in FY 2010 for adult education state formula grants. Funding for FY 2011 was reduced by $31 million by Congress in its approval of the current federal budget.
|Requirements for Funding||How CTB Products Meet These Requirements|
Support research to identify teaching and learning activities that are likely to produce substantial gains in student learning.
TABE is the most comprehensive and reliable assessment solutions family in adult basic education, providing a solid foundation for effectively assessing the skills and knowledge of adult learners. TABE solutions provide a flexible system of diagnostic assessments, instructional support materials, data reporting and management, professional development, and training to meet the diverse needs of today's secondary and postsecondary student, trainee, and educator.
TABE is research-based, assesses basic skills and higher order thinking, and aligns to state, national, and GED® standards. It is a criterion-and norm referenced test, that was nationally normed on a student population aged 14 years and above, and is a viable option to current norm-referenced tests for high school levels.
Test scores correlate with National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) and the Secretary (of Labor) Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS).
- TABE 9&10—Assesses basic and higher order skills in reading, mathematics, language, vocabulary, language mechanics, and spelling
- TABE Complete Language Assessment System—English (TABE CLAS–E)— Evaluates English language skills and instructional needs of adult students
- TABE Advanced Level Tests— Assesses the readiness of students for GED testing in upper-level subjects
- TABE Online— An online version of TABE 9&10, which quickly assesses skills for training and employment or determines readiness to take the GED Tests
- Building Skills with TABE— Comprehensive student workbooks that support instruction and learning with practice exercises to help students master skills assessed by TABE. With TABE Individual Diagnostic Profiles as a starting point, instructors use the workbooks to create a personalized study plan for each student.
CTB/McGraw-Hill conducted a study to determine the relationship between TABE 9&10 (Survey and Complete Battery) and the GED Tests. Information on examinees' performance on both tests was collected from over 50 institutions, including schools, GED testing centers, and correctional institutions. Participants took both tests within a 12-week period. In most cases, TABE was taken prior to the administration of the GED. The results show that TABE scores are good predictors of performance on the GED Tests.
In developing the TABE family of products, CTB incorporated design elements that make TABE a truly accessible test. There are a variety of accommodations available: large print, Braille, audio-tape, and online versions that make TABE accessible to disabled students. CTB advocates and has adopted an approach to standardization that recognizes inclusiveness and accommodation as equally important, nonconflicting characteristics of modern assessment practice. For more information on how CTB supports student accommodations in testing, please visit CTB.com/BestPractices to review or download the research paper, Inclusive Test Administration.
Improve instruction by helping states enhance teacher quality through professional development.
The TABE Professional Development Program offers new on-site and online orientation courses and a complete set of reference materials for planning, administering, scoring, and reporting TABE assessments, and linking assessment to instruction.
- The courses review how to best administer TABE assessments, engage in hands-on training on primary features and functionality, create and access reports, and identify key elements of the reports. They also include an introduction to roles in a testing program and an overview on accommodating adult students with disabilities.
- Separate guides for reading/language and mathematics include sample test items, lesson plans, curriculum explanations, correlations to various national curricula, and instructional activities to help administer and understand TABE and link results back to classroom activities.
- The courses and materials can be used to train teachers, test administrators, proctors, and support staff in individual and group settings.
TABE CLAS–E professional development materials include two Teacher's Resource Guides and an interactive DVD or VHS tape for use in individual or group training sessions. These materials:
- Include explanatory and descriptive information about how to use the TABE CLAS–E system, examples of test items and scoring, report interpretations, and more
- Show teachers how to interpret and apply test results to instructional planning and skill building strategies to improve student learning
Create new models of service delivery to help adults across the nation.
CTB has created a number of delivery and reporting components in the TABE product family for assessment delivery and administration, rapid scoring, and reporting of assessment results. These resources provide new service options to help adults reach academic and employment goals.
TABE Online lets educators and instructors assess and report adult basic education skills from anywhere, at any time. Test administrators and instructors can schedule test sessions to include an Auto Locator that places students into the correct level for each subtest. TABE Online includes the Battery and Survey tests for TABE 9&10 and provides secure test administration and data storage. The Web-based program generates reports by aggregating and disaggregating data. Data can be exported to other software applications to create custom reports, charts, and graphs, or to manage data in existing systems.
With TABE-PC software, teachers can administer, score, and report TABE 9&10 and TABE Advanced-Level tests for one student or a group of students on a standalone PC or via local network. Results can be reported using a variety of scores. Item distractors can be randomized to improve test security.
TestMate TABE is a Windows-based software system that scans, scores, and reports from pencil-and-paper score sheets from TABE 9&10, TABE CLAS–E, and TABE Advanced-Level tests. With TestMate TABE, instructors can quickly generate a wide range of individual and group reports and combine scores of all students whether they are tested using pencil-and-paper or PC format. Data is securely stored by individual student rather than by test batch.
TABE Online, TABE-PC, and TestMate TABE can export student data into online learning systems, such as the McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Web-based instructional, assessment, and prescription software for Instruction Targeted for TABE Success (ITTS).
Improve accountability by establishing a comprehensive performance accountability system to assess the effectiveness of eligible agencies in making continuous improvement in their adult education and literacy activities.
Measure the effectiveness of state and local programs in helping participants achieve academic and employment outcomes with three core performance indicators:
- Demonstrated improvements in literacy skill levels in reading, writing, and speaking the English language; numeracy; problem solving; English language acquisition; and other literacy skills. Outcomes are measured through the NRS in terms of educational gain, based on pre- and post-completion assessments of educational functioning levels for participants.
- Placement in, retention in, or completion of, postsecondary education, training, unsubsidized employment, or career advancement. Outcomes are measured through the NRS in terms of entered postsecondary education or training,entered employment, and employment retention.
- Receipt of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
TABE 9&10 and TABE CLAS–E have both been approved for the full 7 years by the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS), which is administered by ED's Division of Adult Education and literacy. CTB recommends pre- and post-test timeframe guidelines for NRS reporting:
TABE 9&10 tests help administrators and instructors place students in the appropriate instructional or training program, track progress toward success, and use test results to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs.
English Language Acquisition
TABE CLAS–E measures adult learners' English language proficiency. Scores are linked to TABE 9&10 to offer successful transition into mainstream adult education.
- TABE 9&10—Alternate Form Testing: 50–60 hours of instruction, Same Form Testing: 120 hours
- TABE CLAS–E—Alternate Form Testing: 60–95 hours of instruction, Same Form Testing: 100–140 hours
- An optional Locator Test determines the appropriate assessment level for each student. Using the right level of a test is essential to obtain the most accurate measurement of knowledge and ensure valid test results.
- The Complete Battery provides detailed statistics on skill mastery and is available in five levels (L, E, M, D, and A) and two forms (9 and 10). Tests cover reading, mathematics computation, applied mathematics, and language.
- The shorter Survey, available in four levels (E, M, D, and A) and forms 9 and 10, offer similar but less detailed information than the Complete Battery. It yields Total Reading, Total Math, Total Language, and Total Battery scores.
- Pre- and post-testing helps determine growth using TABE scale scores, which describe student achievement on a numerical continuum that spans a range of grades.
- Four tests cover the four major areas of Adult English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)–Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.
- Test items and passages focus on workplace, community, and education contexts that are practical and familiar to the test taker.
- Test items align with the NRS English as a Second Language (ESL) Educational Functioning Level Descriptors, Student Performance Levels, and several state standards for English language proficiency.
- TABE CLAS–E scale scores monitor student progress through pre- and posttesting.
- Seven different reports provide a complete picture of skill levels and progress of students and can be used in measuring program effectiveness.
(Sources: Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-220); National Skills Coalition, Training Policy in Brief: Workforce Investment Act, Title II, February 2011; and U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational Education and Adult Education, Program Descriptions, Services, and Resources, May 5, 2011)