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MEMO: AP 01-28

Last Updated: June 25, 2018

October 11, 2001

TO: WIB Directors; WIB Chairpersons; Grant Recipients

FROM: Lorna Joseph, Director of Program Support

SUBJECT: Measuring Basic Skills Goal Attainment for Younger Youth Under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

America's Workforce Network

Purpose: To issue policy guidance on measuring basic skills goal attainment for younger youth.

Background: It has come to our attention that the current method of measuring basic skills goal attainment for younger youth based on age and skill gap should be replaced with a more flexible and less complicated method. Although the current method is appealing and creates a highly consistent means of determining each youth’s annual goal, the age and skill gap method gives no discretion to the counselor and makes no allowance for individual youth’s situations.

Policy: Effective November 1, 2001, all local youth programs funded under WIA will continue to have the option of using either the CMT or the CCS (whichever is more operationally feasible) to assess the basic skills of younger youth. In using either of these tests, goal attainment in basic skills should be measured by using an individual counseling approach to determine each youth’s annual goal. This approach emphasizes customizing the goal to fit the abilities and needs of each individual youth, and is simpler to use than other means of setting goals.

The following are the basic steps to using the individual counseling approach:

  1. Use the CCS or CMT test.

  2. Determine the baseline skill level using the test score at the time of registration.

  3. If the CCS score is below 235 in reading or math, or the CMT score is below 64 in reading or 130 in math, a deficiency exists and at least one basic skills goal must be set for the youth.

  4. Determine the grade level gap between baseline and desired final goal (at least 8.9) and determine an appropriate annual goal of no less than one grade level in consultation with the student. Set any other goals in work readiness skills or occupational skills area.

  5. Determine attainment of annual goal by re-testing using the same test or appropriate alternate version in the case of the CMT.

Example of the Approach

Baseline is set and deficiency is identified. Jane, a 16-year old, enters the program in the summer before her junior year. She is tested on the CCS to set a baseline and is determined to be at the 5th grade level in reading and at the 4th grade level in math. Since both are below 235 (8.9 grade level), she is determined to be basic skills deficient.

Goal is set. Jane’s annual basic skills goal must be at least one grade level. Her goal may be more ambitious if she and the counselor agree: for example, Jane’s annual goal could be 1.5 grade levels in reading and/or 2 grade levels in math. The counselor and student may decide on a small annual goal for math or reading in the first year (but not lower than one grade level) in the hope that initial success in achieving the first year goal would allow a more ambitious goal in the second year. Jane also sets a work readiness goal, since she wants to work during the summer.

Any questions may be directed to your area liaison.

cc: WIB Youth Contacts

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