FAQ  

On This Page:

1. I.   ADULT EDUCATION REPORTING INFORMATION SYSTEM (AERIS) 
2. II.  ASSESSMENT POLICY 
3. III. ATTENDANCE HOURS
4. IV. BENCHMARK HELP TICKETS 
5. V.  CORE OUTCOMES MEASURES: EDUCATIONAL GAIN
6. VI. CORRELATION BETWEEN EFL, ENTERING EFL, AND LEVEL GAIN
7. VII. TRADITIONAL VS. NON-TRADITIONAL JUSTIFICATION   
8. VIII. OTHER


I. ADULT EDUCATION REPORTING INFORMATION SYSTEM (AERIS)

A. AERIS REPORTING

1. Do we have to put TABE scores in AERIS if the student does not make a gain? Question originated October 11, 2011.

1a. Yes.  AERIS information should mirror the information in the student file.  Tests also need to be dated in AERIS on the exact date they were administered.
Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed. p.4

2. Can we enter attendance once per week instead of daily? Question originated October 11, 2011.

2a. Yes.  Attendance may be entered on a weekly basis.  Attendance must be entered by the 15th and approved by the 22nd of each month following the report month.  If you are ‘chunking’ attendance, the maximum time period for an entry is one week.
Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed, pages 3-4, 18

3. Does the local program director have to approve AERIS entries? Question originated October 11, 2011.                                                                                                  

3a. Yes.  The administrator is responsible for data approval. 
Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed., p.3

4. In AERIS, under the “Student Management” heading, there is a new option – “Pre-registered students” – should programs be doing something with this?  Question originated February 29, 2012.

4a.This feature was added for those States that allow online registrations; a student registers online, the registration will go to this area and then have to be approved by the program Director.  Arkansas does not offer online registration so this feature does not apply to our programs. 

5. How are actual testing hours entered for situations such as the ones described below recorded in AERIS? Question originated February 29, 2012.

a) Administration of more than one level of TABE pretest in case the Locator does not indicate the                   appropriate TABE level.
b) Time accommodations given on the test.
c) Instruction in use of the calculator for students taking the Official GED Practice Test in math.
d) Extra time allowed for Locator test.

5a. Enter the actual time in AERIS and keep documentation. 

6. What is the process of changing a student from ESL to ABE? Question originated February 29, 2012.

6a. This can only be accomplished if the student has no test scores associated with their record.  We do have in the pipeline the ability for state administrators to handle these issues (and many others) via a State Administration Panel.   

7. When a student has completed the highest level of ESL, do we separate the student and re-enroll as ABE? Question originated February 29, 2012.

7a. The system does require the student who has reached the highest level of ESL to be separated and then re-enrolled as an ABE/ASE student.  


II. ASSESSMENT POLICY 

A. TABE, STANDARDIZED TESTING INSTRUMENTS 

1. Sometimes we find out that a student should have been “bumped up a level in TABE” as the Locator results are border-line; is this allowed? Question originated February 28, 2012.

1a.Yes. According to the TABE Complete Battery Test Directions, the Locator cut points are guidelines. Test administrators are to use them in conjunction with any knowledge of examinees previous performance to help determine the placement in TABE level test. This would indicate that the administrator could either bump up or down a level. Instruction to do this is included in the TABE training and the AERIS training taken through AALRC. Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed., p.7-8, and TABE Administration Guide

2. Can we give the D-Level TABE to 16 and 17 year olds entering our programs? Question originated October 11, 2011.

2a. No.  Sixteen and seventeen year-old students should come to us with a minimum of 8.5 on each section of the TABE A-Level complete battery test.    Adult education programs always give the locator and test accordingly using the survey or complete battery.  Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed., p.8, and TABE Administration Guide

3. If administering TABE, do both the pretest and posttest need to be the same battery? Question originated March 14, 2012.

3a. Yes. The TABE pretest and post- test should always be the same level and battery though different forms. Reference: AALRC TABE Training

4. Can students entering a new program bring their last test scores from another program with them? Question originated February 29, 2012.

4a. Yes. Students who come to your program from another program within 45 days can bring their last test score with them. Reference: TABE Administration Guide

5. Should a student be re-tested after 180 calendar days or 6 months? Question originated February 29, 2012.

5a. Yes. Within 6 months from taking the test in your program a student should be re-tested regardless of the hours attended. Reference: Arkansas National Reporting System for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, Seventh Ed., p. 7

6.  How should an ESL student be entered in AERIS who scores high on a Basic English Skills Test (BEST)? Question originated February 29, 2012.

6a. If the BEST test scores are the result of an initial assessment (pre-test) AND the scores are 76 or greater on the Literacy BEST, and 541 or greater on BEST Plus, then do not enter the scores into AERIS. Since these students are above Advanced ESL and cannot show educational gain with the BEST, they should be given the TABE. Resource: AERIS Training


III. ATTENDANCE HOURS 

A. ATTENDANCE, INTAKE, ORIENTATION, FIELD TRIPS 

1. Can programs record attendance for orientation time with students?  Question originated October 11, 2011.  

1a. Yes.  Programs can record attendance for orientation time with students (reviewing test scores, class schedules and placement, etc.) but the time must reflect the actual time spent with students on orientation.  Be sure that the time can be verified. AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed. p.17

2. Can programs round student attendance hours? Question originated October 11, 2011.                                                                                                           
2a. Yes.  Rounding student attendance up or down to the nearest quarter hour is the rule.                         Example:  1 hour, 13 minutes rounds to 1 hour 15 minutes (1.25 hours).  1 hour, 5 minutes rounds to 1 hour. AERIS Training 

3. Can we give four hours of attendance for the TABE test? Question originated October 11, 2011.                                                                                              

3a. Probably not.  Most programs administer the TABE Survey.  The publisher’s time for the Survey test is 1 hour, 30 minutes.  The publisher also recommends 20 minutes for the practice Locator (if needed) and 35 minutes for the Locator test.  You can give up to 2.5 hours for the TABE Survey but only if the time is documented.  You can give up to 4.5 hours for the TABE Complete Battery.  The actual test time is 3 hours, 34 minutes with time added for the Locator. Reference: AERIS Training

4. Can students be given more than .25 hours of attendance for intake? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

4a. Yes.  Students can be given from .25 hours intake up to 2 hours intake, but the time should reflect the actual time that was spent.  Be sure that the time can be verified. Reference: AERIS Training

5. Can we count attendance time for field trips? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

5a. Yes.  We encourage experiential learning.  You may count the hours as long as they are documented, related directly to student learning, and a teacher is present. Reference: AERIS Training


IV. BENCHMARK HELP TICKETS 

A. ATTENDACE ENTRIES, STUDENT CONTACT TYPE, INCORRECT DATA 

1. Can the State Office delete duplicate attendance, change/remove incorrect attendance entries?  Question originated February 29, 2012.

1a. The State Office cannot correct or delete these entries.  A help ticket must be submitted to Benchmark and they have to take action accordingly to correct the data entry error.

2. Can the State Office change a student’s contact type from ESL to ABE/ASE - - or - - ABE/ASE to ESL? Question originated February 29, 2012.

2a. The State Office cannot correct a student’s contact type.  A help ticket must be submitted to Benchmark to correct this error.

3. If a program enters an incorrect test information (i.e. Reading 9M should be 10M, Math was entered but should be Language) can the State Office correct the test information? Question originated February 29, 2012.

3a. The State Office cannot change any test information.  If the test type was entered incorrectly, a help ticket must be submitted to Benchmark to delete the test information.  Once Benchmark notifies the State Office that the test information has been deleted, the State Office has to notify the program at which time, the program is to enter the correct test information.

4. If a program enters a test score incorrectly (i.e. program entered TABE 10M Language 492 but should be TABE 10D 538) can the State Office correct the test scores? Question originated February 29, 2012.

4a. The State Office cannot change any of the test information.  If the test scores were entered incorrectly, a help tick must be submitted to Benchmark to delete the entire entry.  Once Benchmark notifies the State Office that the information has been deleted, the State Office has to notify the program at which time, the program is to enter the correct test information.

5. Can the State Office change a registration date? Question originated  February 29, 2012.

5a.The State Office is not able to change a student’s registration date.  A help ticket must be submitted to Benchmark to correct this error. 

6. What does the green checkmark beside the student’s name on the demographic page mean? Question originated February 29, 2012.

6a. The checkmark does represent approved registration. Once a student pre-registers, the program must approve their registration and, once the action has been taken, the green arrow appears.  


V. CORE OUTCOME MEASURES: EDUCATIONAL GAIN 

A. MANUEL OUTCOMES, RECORDING EDUCATION GAINS GED CREDIT 

1. Why didn’t my student get credit for his/her manual outcomes? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

1a.   It is usually one of four things. Be sure that: 1) the student completed 12 hours (was enrolled)  2) the goal is entered in AERIS for the student  3) the student is separated  4) the program sent a manual outcome form to the state office. Reference: AERIS Training

2. Why didn’t my student get credit for his GED? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

2a. It is usually one of five things:  1) Did the student get 12 hours (enrolled)?  2) Was the goal entered in AERIS for the student?  3) Is the student separated?  4) Did the program enter the goal as ‘complete’ for the student after the GED test was passed? 5) If the student doesn’t have a Social Security Number, was his/her AERIS-generated ID number changed in AERIS to the GED Jurisdiction number received from the state GED office? AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed.

3. Where do I record the goal of making an education gain in AERIS? Question originated March 15, 2012.

3a. This is the assumed goal of all adult education and literacy students. Therefore, this goal does not appear as a specific data field in AERIS. All student achievement of this goal will be recorded in NRS Table 4 and Table 4B. Reference: Arkansas NRS Assessment Policy and Distant Education Guidelines, Seventh Edition, p.4.

4. If a student is to take the GED but does not have a SSN, does the program need to enter a manual outcome?  Question originated February 29, 2012.

4a. Obtaining a GED is ALWAYS a manual outcome BUT you do not have to send in the manual outcome form; however, you do have to enter the indicator in AERIS.  Furthermore, if a GED student does not have a SSN, they are assigned a jurisdiction # by the GED Department when they register for the GED testing.  The number assigned by GED should be forwarded to the State Office (AERIS Personnel) and entered in AERIS in place of the social security number. Reference: AERIS Training

5. If a student appears on Table 4.1 in level II because that was his lowest score, but makes an advancement in another subject on level III, where does the advancement count on the table? Question originated – February 24, 2012.

5a. If the student appears in the row for Level 2, he will remain at Level 2 throughout the fiscal year.   Students are slotted in rows on Table 4.1 based on their entering EFL.

6. If a student has made an EFL advancement in any areas will the students show up on the testing alerts? And if the student shows up what do we do next? Question originated – February 24, 2012.

6a. Students currently do remain on testing alerts.   Testing alerts do not impact the student record, they are for informational and management purposes.   


VI. CORRELATION BETWWEN EFL, ENTERING EFL, AND LEVEL GAIN 

1.  How are Educational Functional Level’s (EFL) established?

1a. EFL is established as by the lowest score of the battery a student is working on.  If it’s one test, the one test establishes the EFL, if two, the lowest of the two and if three, the lowest of the three.  Reference: ARNRS Assessment Policy pp. 8.

2. How is entering a student’s EFL established?

2a. Entering EFL is the level at which the student begins the fiscal year.  For new students this is generated by their pre-test results.  For rollover students Entering EFL is established by the level at which the student ended the previous fiscal year, in other words, the EFL on June 30.  For aggregate reporting and in the cases where students have multiple registrations in the same fiscal year, the registration with the earliest registration date establishes the Entering EFL.  The Entering EFL persists through the entire fiscal year for that student regardless of whether he regresses, advances, completes or never tests again.   Reference: ARNRS Assessment Policy pp. 8.

3. Is Level Gain independent of EFL and Entering EFL?

3a. Level Gain is independent of EFL and Entering EFL.  It is created when a student improves one test in a battery.  This improvement does not necessarily have to be in the area in which the student scored the lowest.  For example a student could post pre-test scores at Level 3 in Math, Level 2 in Language and Level 3 in Reading.  Entering EFL for that student would be Level 2.  But if the student takes a Reading post-test and scores at Level 4 the student would show a Level Gain for Table 4 purposes despite the fact that their overall EFL remains at Level 2.   Reference:  ARNRS Assessment Policy pp. 8.

This is why our system has the red/yellow/green Table 4 status bar.   The EFL may not change, but the student may register a gain on Table 4 and this bar allows the program to see this at a glance. 

There is an exception to this rule.  If that same student took a post-test in Language, regressed to Level 1 and then improved back with a subsequent post-test to Level 2, the student would not be credited with a Level Gain for Table 4 purposes.  Rules require that any achievement be above the entering EFL.  

Due to the possibility of multiple registrations, you can occasionally see what appear to be anomalies but are actually accurate representations.  Suppose a student enters Program A in July as an ESL student.  The same student enters Program B in September but is enrolled as an ABE/ASE student.  For aggregate Table 4 purposes the student will appear in a row for ESL students.   Even if that student departs Program A and later achieves a Level Gain at Program B, he remains listed as entering at ESL since it was the first record in.   We often field questions from programs that serve only ESL students questioning why their Table 4 reflects students who appear in rows for ABE/ASE students and this is the reason. 

4.  If a student leaves one program and enters another one during the fiscal year, which program gets credit if the student makes a gain?

4a. It depends on which Table you run.  From the aggregate standpoint, both programs get credit.  If you run a Table 4 for Program A and a Table 4 for Program B, both tables will show a gain for the student even if he/she achieved that gain only in Program B.  From a state standpoint, one student with multiple registrations will appear on a state aggregate report one time, but when individual reports are run for each program, that same student will be reflected on each.  
This is why we always caution that adding up the student counts from each individual Table 4 will not equal the aggregate total.  Reference: E-mail correspondence with Benchmark, April 19, 2012.


VII. TRADITIONAL VS. NON-TRADITIONAL JUSTIFICATION 

A. TABE, TABE LOCATOR TEST, CONTENT AREAS, BEST LITERACY TEST, EDUCATIONAL GAIN

1. If all three tests of the TABE are taken as a non- traditional 1; or non-traditional 2; or traditional justification student, can we enter only the lowest EFL into AERIS? Question originated February 14, 2012.

1a. No. If all three parts of the TABE are taken then all three scores will need to be entered into AERIS. Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed., P.4

2. Can we enter all our students as Non -Traditional 1 or Non-Traditional 2 students without giving them the TABE Locator? Question originated February 14, 2012.

2a. No. All TABE Testing must follow the Publisher Guidelines. First the locater is given and the results are used to determine the appropriate level of survey or complete battery to administer. Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed., P.4

3. Does a Non-Traditional 1 student have to be separated from AERIS if he or she decides to test in another content area? Question originated February 14, 2012. 

3a. Yes. If a Non-Traditional 1 student completes a content area and would like to be tested in another content area, then they must be separated from AERIS using a separation form and placed back in the system using a new intake date. 

4. Can we make copies of the BEST Literacy test to use? Question originated October 11, 2011.
    
4a. No.  Copyright laws restrict the reproduction of testing materials, which include the tests and answer sheets for BEST and TABE tests. 

5. Does a traditional student have to make an EFL gain in all three areas or the lowest area to get credit for a gain? Question originated February 29, 2012.

5a. If the learner shows progress by moving up to the next higher EFL in any one of the content areas tested, the learner has made an educational gain. Reference: AR NRS for Adult Education Assessment Policy and Distance Education Guidelines, 7th Ed., p. 8, p.11


VIII.   OTHER

A. PAR’S, FORMS, COMMITTEE MEMBERS, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

1. Does the Superintendent or Board President have to sign PARs? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

1a. No.  The program director can sign PARs for all employees.  Only the director’s PAR must be signed by his/her supervisor.  

2. May we add items to the Student Intake Form? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

2a.Yes.  Items may be added; however, no items can be removed. 

3. Can Advisory Committee members be the same as the WAGE Committee members?  If yes, can we count one meeting for both?  Question originated October 11, 2011.  

 3a. Yes and No.  Members may serve on both the Advisory Committee and the WAGE Committee, but the Advisory Committee should not be made up entirely of Wage Committee members.  Meetings should be separate, but can be held on the same day. WAGE committees are required to meet 4 times per year (after the first two years).  Adult Education Advisory Committees are required to meet twice per year.

4. May we enter a student’s social security number without actually seeing the student’s social security card? Question originated October 11, 2011.  

4a. No.  You must see the student’s social security card before entering that number for him/her.  If a student does not have his or her cards, generate a student ID numbers in AERIS and use it until a social security card is provided. Resource: AERIS Training