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MEMO: AP 01-30

Last Updated: June 25, 2018

December 11, 2001

TO: WIB Directors; WIB Chairpersons; Grant Recipients

FROM: Lorna Joseph, Director of Program Support

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

REFERENCE: Memo AP 01-28

America's Workforce Network

Purpose: To issue clarification of 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 be required to use the individual counseling approach in measuring basic skills goal attainment for younger youth. This approach emphasizes customizing the size of the goal to the abilities and needs of the individual youth and is less complicated to use.

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

  1. Use the Employability Competency System version of 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. If the CMT is used to test the youth, determine the grade level gap between baseline score and final goal (at least 8.9 grade level) and determine an appropriate annual goal of no less than one grade level in consultation with the student. If the CCS is being used, the minimum annual goal is a five-point gain between pre-test and post-test scores on the appropriate CCS achievement test (ECS version). Set any other goals in work readiness skills or occupational skills, as appropriate for the individual student.

  5. Determine whether annual goals have been attained by post-testing. If the CMT was used for the pre-test, use an approved alternate version of the CMT for the post-test. If the CCS achievement test was used for the pre-test, use an alternate form of the achievement test (at the same or next higher level) for the post-test.

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. Her CCS appraisal test scores in math and reading are 212 and 237, respectively. Since her math score is below 235, Jane is considered basic skills deficient in that subject. As such, she must have an annual goal set in math for WIA performance measurement.

Bob, a 15-year old, enters the program in the fall of his sophomore year. He is tested in school using the CMT to determine his levels in reading and math. His CMT score shows him to be at the 9th grade level in reading and the 5th grade level in math, so he is found to be basic skills deficient in math and must have an annual goal set in math for WIA performance measurement.

Goal is set.

Jane’s annual basic skills goal must be at least a five-point gain between her pre-test and post-test scores on the appropriate CCS math achievement tests (as distinct from the CCS appraisal test). Within a year of setting her basic skills goal, she must be post-tested to determine whether or not she has achieved her annual goal in basic skills.

Bob, who was pre-tested using the CMT, has a minimum annual goal of one grade level advancement in math. His goal may be more ambitious if he and the counselor agree: for example, Bob’s annual goal could be 1.5 grade levels in math. His post-test score on the CMT (approved alternate version) will determine whether he has achieved the goal set for him.

Attached is a copy of the Path Through ECS Assessment for the CCS, which list which tests should be used based on either appraisal or achievement scores.

Any questions may be directed to your area liaison.


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