[Assessment 1316] Re: CASAS vs. BEST

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Bryan Woerner bwoerner at cal.org
Fri May 16 13:27:13 EDT 2008

Hello everyone,

Ingrid raises some good points to consider when choosing an assessment.
What are the needs and goals of your program? What are the needs and
goals of your students? For what purpose are you testing? What resources
do you have available?

If you would like more information about the adult ESL assessments
available from CAL, please visit our websites:

For BEST Plus, visit www.best-plus.net; for BEST Literacy, visit

In regards to Ingrid's point about instructional hours, CAL recommends a
minimum of 60 instructional hours between pre- and posttesting to show
progress when using our assessments. In addition, we have also published
the results from our level gains study involving BEST Plus and the
National Reporting System (NRS) ESL Functioning Levels. It is available
free at http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/levelgain.html
<http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/levelgain.html> . For more
information about the NRS, please visit www.nrsweb.org.

If you have any further questions, we will be happy to talk to you and
provide more information off line. Please contact us at AEA at cal.org or
by toll free by phone at 866-845-2378.

Bryan Woerner
Adult ESL Assessments
Center for Applied Linguistics


From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Rodrick Beiler, Ingrid
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 12:24 PM
To: assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1311] CASAS vs. BEST

Hi everyone

I serve as the coordinator for an adult ESOL program in Montgomery
County, MD. We offer classes mostly at the beginner level, with some
classes at literacy and intermediate levels as well. I am fairly new to
this field and am trying to determine the comparative usefulness of
CASAS and BEST for assessment of our program. Can anyone comment on
how/why their organizations might have chosen one over the other?

In case it is helpful for understanding my organization's needs, here is
some more background information:
- We serve about 275-300 learners per semester.
- Many of our learners have a very low educational level.
- Pre- and post-tests are administered by our instructors during the
first and last classes of the semester.
- Placement tests are administered by coordinators at each of our sites
in one-on-one interviews.
- We provide 36-48 instructional hours per semester. (I wonder if this
precludes our using the BEST.)
- Most of our funding comes from two sources (government and a private
- The cost of standardized assessments is an important factor to us.

Your advice is much appreciated.

Ingrid Rodrick Beiler

Ingrid Rodrick Beiler
ESOL Coordinator
Linkages to Learning
51 Monroe Street, Suite 1700
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (240) 777-1110
Fax: (240) 777-1111
ingrid.rodrickbeiler at montgomerycountymd.gov

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