To issue procedures for implementing the Literacy
and Numeracy Gains common measure for out-of-school youth; and
To issue procedures for basic skills testing of all
WIA Youth program participants.
Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) are held to the 17 WIA performance measures
established by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Seven of these
measures are applicable to youth. These measures are:
Older Youth, Entered
Older Youth, Employment
Older Youth, Average Earnings Change
Younger Youth, Skill
Younger Youth, Diploma
performance measures remain in effect pending WIA reauthorization.
All states were
required to implement common measures of WIA performance by July 1, 2005 with
the exception of the literacy and numeracy measure for youth. The two
youth common measures effective as of July 1, 2005 are:
Federal requirements mandate that the third youth common measure, Literacy and
Numeracy Gains, be implemented no later than July 1, 2006. Connecticut has
chosen to implement this measure on this date. Success in the literacy and
numeracy measure is based upon an increase in the educational functioning level
of out-of-school youth who are basic skills deficient.
methodology for showing an increase in this measure is as follows:
those out-of-school youth who are basic skills deficient:
The number of youth participants who increase one or more educational
functioning levels divided by the number of youth participants who have
completed a year in the program (i.e., one year from the date of the first WIA
youth program service) plus the number of youth participants who exit before
completing a year in the youth program.
Testing must be conducted with a tool that is compatible with the U.S.
Department of Education’s National Reporting System (NRS). This necessitates
changes to the current testing method. Using the Connecticut Competency
System (CCS), youth will be given an appraisal (placement) test. If the
youth is found to be basic skills deficient in reading or math, an assessment
pre-test is given in that area. The youth is post-tested in that area at a
Although in-school youth are not included in this measure, it is the expectation
of the U.S. Department of Labor that the educational functioning level of all
youth be reviewed under WIA.
Skills Deficient” Definition
The U.S. Department of Labor defines “basic skills
deficient” as follows:
The individual computes or solves problems,
reads, writes, or speaks English at or below the eight grade level or is unable
to compute or solve problems, read, write, or speak English at a level necessary
to function on the job, in the individual’s family, or in society.
the purpose of WIA administration in Connecticut, “basic skills deficient” is
defined as scoring below 236 in reading and/or math on a Connecticut
Competency System assessment instrument.
The Connecticut Competency System tools will be used
for appraisal, pre and post testing of youth. Alternate tools may be used
for youth with disabilities if appropriate.
The WIBs and/or their designees will use the
Employability Competency System (ECS) series unless circumstances indicate that
another series is more appropriate for an individual.
Effective July 1, 2006, all out-of-school youth
entering the WIA program will be given an appraisal test, the ECS 130, for
reading and math.
In-school youth may be appraised at the WIB’s
For all out-of-school youth entering the WIA youth program on or after July 1,
pre-testing is not required for those youth who
score 236 or higher in both reading and math on the appraisal (ECS 130).
Youth who score below 236 in reading and/or math on
the appraisal must be assessed with an ECS pre-test.
The selection of the ECS pre-test version is
determined by the youth’s appraisal score.
Youth are pre-tested in the area, or areas, in which
the appraisal score was below 236. If the youth scored below 236 in both
reading and math, the youth is assessed with a pre-test in both reading and
math. If the youth scored below 236 in either reading or math, the youth
is assessed with a pre-test in that specific area.
The assessment pre-test is administered within sixty
days of the date of the first WIA youth program service. It is given as
soon as possible after the appraisal, prior to the occurrence of any substantial
instructional intervention. Substantial instructional intervention is
instruction that one would reasonably expect to affect test results.
If an out-of-school youth scores 236 or higher in
both the reading and math pre-test, the youth is not considered basic skills
deficient, regardless of the appraisal scores. This youth is not included
in the literacy and numeracy measure.
WIBs, at their discretion, may administer assessment
pre-testing to in-school youth.
Once WIA eligibility is established, eligibility
does not change even if a determining factor changes. If a youth was
determined to be basic skills deficient based on the ECS 130 appraisal, but then
pre-tested at a level of basic skill proficiency (236 or higher), his or her
For all out-of-school youth entering the WIA
youth program on or after July 1, 2006:
Post-tests are administered until the youth scores
236 or higher in both reading and math, or until the youth exits the program.
The initial post-test must be administered within
one calendar year of the date of the first WIA youth program service.
Second year post-testing and instruction must be
administered prior to the second anniversary date of the first WIA youth
services. Subsequent year post-tests and instruction must be administered
prior to that year’s anniversary date of the first WIA youth service.
post-test version must be in the same series as the pre-test.
The ECS test form
number of each subsequent post-test must be different from the form
number of the last taken test. The form may or may not be in the
same scoring range dependent upon the score of the last taken test.
Under common measures, to achieve a positive outcome
in the literacy and numeracy measure, an out-of-school youth must demonstrate an
increase of one educational functioning level in either reading or math
during the measurement period.
Accepting Test Results from Outside Entities
The WIBs will
accept CCS test scores from adult education for the purposes of determining
pre-test selection and/or as a pre-test score provided
There has not been substantial instructional
Test results are no
more than 180 days old. While
test results that are no more than 180 days old may be accepted, it is
recommended that test results be limited to those that are no more than 90
The WIBs will
accept CCS test scores from adult education for the purpose of determining
The WIBs, at their discretion, may accept CCS
test scores from organizations and agencies other than adult education provided
that the conditions regarding substantial instructional intervention and age of
test results as noted in Item VII.A and/or Item VII.B are met.
CCS test scores from any series (that is, Life
Skills, Employability Competency System - ECS, Workforce Learning Systems
- WLS, Life and Work - LW, Citizenship) may be accepted.
Release authorizations, signed by the student, or
legal guardian if appropriate, must accompany test results coming from adult
education or any other organization.
Testing Youth Who Enrolled in WIA Prior to
July 1, 2006 (Carry-over Youth)
that is youth in WIA prior to July 1, 2006, are pre and post-tested
using testing procedures in place prior to July 1, 2006. These
testing procedures are maintained for these youth for the duration of
their participation in WIA youth programming. These youth must
attain a 5-point increase under these testing procedures to demonstrate
an educational increase under the Skill Attainment measure.
Testing Youth with Special Needs and/or
responsible for providing reasonable accommodations when testing youth
with documented disabilities.
Accommodations in testing alter the conditions for administering a test or
change the nature of an instrument allowing test-takers with disabilities to
demonstrate more accurately their skills and abilities. Proper
accommodations meet the needs of examinees without changing what a test is
intended to measure. Accommodations may be similar to “test-taking
strategies” such as requesting to take only one test per day, testing in an
alternate quiet room or taking frequent breaks. Test-takers may also use a
variety of aides when taking a test, such as using a plain straight-edge ruler,
a different type of answer sheet, magnifying strips, colored overlays, ear
plugs, or other devices as deemed appropriate. It is not an appropriate
accommodation to read a reading test to a test-taker with low literacy
skills or blindness. The purpose of a reading test is to assess
reading skill levels and to determine the test-taker’s appropriate
instructional level, not to assess knowledge of a subject area.
[Note: Taken from CCS Assessment Policies and Guidelines, p.13]
appraisal and assessment tools, individuals with disabilities are to be
provided with reasonable accommodations, as appropriate, according to:
Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act
(implementing regulation at 29 CFR Part 37), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973 (DOL implementing regulations at 29 CFR Part 32), and Title II of
the Americans with Disabilities Act, if applicable, (implementing regulations at
28 CFR 35) taking into consideration;
Guidelines associated with the appraisal and
assessment tools; and
State laws and/or
Regulations implementing WIA Section 188, found at 29 CFR Part 37, provide a
general definition of “reasonable accommodation” for individuals with
disabilities. In essence, such accommodations are modifications or
adjustments, made on a case-by-case basis, “that enable a qualified individual
with a disability . . . to receive aid, benefits, services, or training equal to
that provided to qualified individuals without disabilities.” (See 29 CFR
Part 37.4, definition of “reasonable accommodation”) In the
appraisal and assessment context, therefore, accommodations are
changes that are made to the materials or procedures used for the
assessment in order to “level the playing field” to ensure that the
assessment tool measures the individual's skills and abilities, and
not his or her disabilities. Because youth with disabilities
are expected to achieve the same gains as other youth, it is
critically important that appropriate accommodations be provided for
the assessment process, to ensure that the gains achieved by these
youth can be determined accurately.
Accommodations for the assessment process generally fall into the following
Changes to the methods of presentation
of the tool used as appraisal or assessment tool: e.g., providing
Braille versions of the test, or orally reading the directions or test
questions to test-takers,
Changes to the methods or response
to the test questions: e.g., having the test-taker point to a
response or use a computer for responding,
Changes to the setting in which the
test is provided: e.g., permitting the test to be taken at home, or in small
groups, rather than in a large-group or institutional setting; and
Changes to the timing/scheduling of the test: e.g.,
extending the amount of time generally provided for completion
of the test, permitting frequent breaks.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor
fully expects that most youth with disabilities can, and should, be assessed
using tests that specifically crosswalk to educational functioning levels, using
accommodations where needed. ETA also recognizes that in very limited
instances, use of these testing instruments, even with appropriate
accommodations, may not provide a valid or reliable evaluation of the literacy
and numeracy skills of a youth with one or more disabilities. These
instances may arise because of the nature or extent of a particular
individual’s disability, and/or because of limitations in the
testing instruments themselves.
Testing accommodations must be consistent with the
disability documentation. Test-takers are responsible for
providing documentation of the disability. Decisions regarding
accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. [CCS, pp. 13, 14]
WIBs must designate a WIB
CCS Program Facilitator who is trained by the State Department of
Education in CCS test administration. The Facilitator will be
responsible for testing and/or for training test facilitators. The
Facilitator must complete CCS Training Part 1 (Appraisals) and Part 2
(Survey Achievement Pre and Post Assessments).
WIBs must maintain a current Test Security
Agreement which outlines the requirements relative to the secure storage and
handling of all CCS materials. A signed Test Security Agreement
must be filed with Adult Training and Development Network (ATDN) division of
CREC or other entity designated by the Connecticut State Department of
The U.S. Department of Labor and the Connecticut
Department of Labor acknowledge that the nature of some disabilities, such as
severe cognitive impairment, may preclude meaningful literacy and numeracy
testing and consequent attainment of the literary and numeracy common measure
goal. It is not the intent of the federal and state Departments of Labor
to discourage WIA participation by individuals with these circumstances.
In order to foster WIA program development for individuals with such
circumstances, WIBs may request one of two adjustment methods:
Service to individuals with such
circumstances can be addressed in annual WIA performance negotiations.
In effect, negotiated target performance would be adjusted from expected
levels so that a WIB would not be penalized for serving individuals who may
not reasonably be expected to attain a positive outcome in a performance
measure, specifically the measures for attainment of a degree or certificate
or an increase in literacy and numeracy.
WIBs can request a performance adjustment at
the end of the program year being measured. As part of such a request,
WIBs must demonstrate that the inclusion of individuals with such
circumstances negatively impacted performance
“Connecticut Competency System (CCS),
Assessment Policies and Guidelines, Fiscal Year 2005 - 2006,” Connecticut
State Department of Education, Bureau of Early Childhood, Career and Adult
Education, September 2005.
“Training and Employment Guidance Letter No.
17-05, Subject: Common Measures Policy for the Employment and Training
Administration’s (ETA) Performance Accountability System and Related
Performance Issues,” U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training
Administration, February 17, 2006.