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Return-Path: <email@example.com> Received: from literacy (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by literacy.nifl.gov (8.10.2/8.10.2) with SMTP id j75IQZG13219; Fri, 5 Aug 2005 14:26:35 -0400 (EDT) Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 14:26:35 -0400 (EDT) Message-Id: <001001c599ec$7e93bc70$0602a8c0@frodo> Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk From: "Marie Cora" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com> Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1211] EFF-based assessment efforts X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.2627 Content-Type: text/plain; Status: O Content-Length: 6942 Lines: 124 Hi everyone, The following post is from Sondra Stein. marie Dear all -- Before I run off for a much needed summer vacation I wanted to respond briefly to Marie's query about EFF -based assessments. There are two EFF-based assessment efforts going on. One that parallels the work that Bob initiated in Massachusetts in that it is focused on the EFF standards that are included in the NRS: Reading, Writing, Math. This is a collaborative effort between ETS and a number of states that are using EFF standards and is in the early stages of development. In February 2004 when we completed the assessment framework for EFF standards we hosted a meeting for assessment developers to introduce them to the work we had done and to invite them to build assessments that were aligned with EFF standards. We told them that there was dissatisfaction in the field with the assessments that were available and that the states that were basing their system improvement efforts on EFF Standards would be a ready market for assessments aligned with the standards. Representatives of about 6 states were at the meeting, as well as representatives of five or six assessment publishers. A number of publishers at the meeting expressed an interest in cross walking their assessments with the EFF performance levels. ETS was the only firm interested in working with states to develop new assessments aligned with the standards. At COABE that year NIFL hosted a special meeting at which Irwin Kirsch talked to interested states about an approach to collaborative assessment development that ETS was beginning to use -- a process that has resulted in the new computer literacy assessment that ETS released this year. Irwin proposed a similar process with state adult basic literacy and education leaders which is now underway. I am not integrally involved with this group right now, but I believe they have met two or three times and are coming to agreement on the blueprint for tests that ETS will develop. I am very excited about this effort -- both the process, which continues EFF's commitment to collaborative development with the field, and the products which promise to be state-of-the-art assessments, aligned with what people using EFF standards really teach in their classrooms, so enabling them to measure results that matter. You can find out more about this from Regie Stites, Irwin Kirsch at ETS, or one or more of the states that are involved -- I know they include District of Columbia, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington and several other states. I'm not sure which ones since I haven't been involved for the past year. Instead I have been focused on working with a small group of state and national partners (mostly workforce focused) on the development of a Work Readiness Credential based on Equipped for the Future Standards and business consensus of what entry-level workers need to know and be able to do. This effort began in 2002 when EFF National Policy Advisors -- including state directors of adult education and other leaders -- asked us to consider development of such a credential to address the difficulty employers were having finding applicants who were work ready. You may remember the NAM Skills Gap report of 2001 in which 69% of employers said that applicants lacked basic employability skills. Our advisors thought EFF would be a great foundation for such a credential because we had developed rigorous research based standards for interpersonal, problem-solving, and learning skills --as well as the three R's. State Directors if Adult Ed felt that an assessment that was aligned with entry-level skills would meet their need for a "mid-level" pre-GED credential. We began the work with initial funding from NIFL in 2003, and subsequently identified 6 partners that have invested in the costs of developing the credential. The project is now based at the Center for Workforce Preparation at the US Chamber of Commerce. Visit our website at www.uschmaber.com/cwp or http://eff.cls.utk.edu/workreadiness The credential development process has reiterated the EFF development process. We spent the first year conducting surveys and focus groups with front line supervisors, entry-level workers, and other stakeholders in the workforce system, to build consensus on what you can think of EFF terms as an entry-level worker role map. It's a profile of the critical tasks and behaviors that entry-level workers need to be able to perform in order to be successful -- across industry sectors -- and of the most important skills for performing those tasks. These include nine of the 16 EFF Standards: Speak so others Can Understand, Listen Actively, Cooperate with Others, Resolve Conflict and Negotiate, Solve Problems and Make Decisions, Take Responsibility for Learning, Observe Critically, and Read with Understanding and Use Math. This profile is proposed as a business-driven, standards-based, research-and-consensus built national Work Readiness Standard. (Another EFF mouthful!) It identifies what job seekers need to know and be able to do (how well they need to be able to use what skills) in order to qualify for entry-level jobs that lead to better jobs. For the past year and a half our assessment development team -- led by SRI International and HumRRO -- has worked with state partners to develop and implement an assessment plan for assessing this new work readiness standard. After reviewing existing assessments, we set out on a path to develop new ones that were designed to assess the profile. There are four modules in the assessment package which will be field-tested this fall. One that focuses on Reading, one on Math, one on Speaking and Listening, and one on the 5 interpersonal, problem solving, and learning skills in the profile. Three of the assessments have been developed by HumRRO and SRI, using subject matter experts from across industry clusters (rather than teachers) to help develop assessment items. The fourth assessment is being developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics, using a new COPI approach to assessing oral communication skills by computer. All four assessments were piloted this spring and will be included in the field test this fall. The field test will be conducted in the six states mentioned above that are partners in the development of the credential. The field test will focus on issues of fairness and validity. What continues to be exciting to me about this credential is that it enables us to fulfill the vision of EFF -- an assessment that focuses on most of the skills that adults really do need to be successful in their roles as parents, citizens and workers. The credential will be available for broad use next spring. If you are interested in finding out more, check out the websites or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Sondra Stein Project Manager, EFF Work Readiness Credential email@example.com
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