Assessment and Accountability

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What are TOPSpro forms and am I required to complete them?

The Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) is responsible for collecting student demographic information for the California Department of Education (CDE) via a data-collection system, known as TOPSpro. Every ABE student in every program that receives funding from the California Department of Education must complete a TOPSpro form upon both entry and exit from a class. This process is ongoing throughout the year, whenever a new student enters your class or whenever a student exits. You will need to find out your agency's procedures for obtaining, completing, and returning TOPSpro forms. More information about this data collection system is available on the CASAS Web site at http://www.casas.org.

How do I track students' goals and outcomes?

The TOPSpro form also is used to record each student's goals on entering a class (via the TOPSpro Entry Record), as well as his/her educational outcomes (via the TOPSpro Update Record). Your supervisor will tell you how to complete these forms and will provide information about other required follow-up procedures.

What other measures can I use to assess my students?

Assessment is an ongoing process in adult education, and multiple assessment measures should be used. Assessment may be formal (e.g., standardized testing, teacher- or agency-created tests, and computerized tests), or informal (e.g., teacher observation of student performance through a checklist of competencies mastered, student portfolios, teacher interview, peer review, oral presentation, journals, and group projects). The assessment should reflect the instructional objectives. Your agency may provide specific assessments to document students' readiness to enter a GED preparation or high school diploma program, or you may be required to create your own. CASAS also provides tests for various instructional levels. The assessment instruments most appropriate for ABE students are (1) Life Skill Series; (2) Life and Work Series; and (3) Employability Competency Series.

Visit the CASAS Web site at http://www.casas.org and click on CASAS Catalog to obtain information about these tests.

What is CASAS testing and what are my responsibilities?

CASAS provides CDE with an electronic system for collecting data on student learning gains via a series of pre- and post-tests. Certain funding streams require that these tests be administered regularly to document student progress. Ask your supervisor if your class needs to be "CASAS-tested" and what the agency's testing procedures are. The TOPSpro system allows you to generate reports from the test results by student and by class. These results will assist you in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your students. The TOPSpro Reports Manual, available through CASAS, details each of the reports.

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