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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Elena Toscano, Napa Valley Adult Education Consortium

Improving NRS Performance Through Multiple Testing Opportunities

The Challenge

Post testing students with 80+ is a challenge at Napa Valley Adult Education. Few ABE/ASE and ESL students come consistently due to seasonal employment; working long hours, changes in work schedules from day to evening, and working more than one job make it difficult to accumulate the hours to test students during harvest season, August through November. Late November to December break likewise has fluctuating attendance because many students visit families in their home country.
ASE/ABE and ESL classes are scheduled between 5-10 hours per week on the main campus. Few students are able to attend more than 6-10 hours per week.
Previous post testing practice was to test all classes once a month regardless of accumulated student attendance

The Solution

In 2017-18 the AP and Assessment and Accountability Specialist (AAS) established a 40-70-100 post testing schedule for all students. First the AAS generates ASAP Attendance Detail Report class lists with a date range of the first 3 weeks of class. She then cross checks the last test in TE to determine the post testing date for each student. There are a total of 30+ lists. Students are tested at 40, 70, or 100 hours or until they compete a level. Teachers are notified by email the students to be tested.

A designated drop-in testing lab is staffed monthly for these students M-Th: 9-11:30 am and 6-8 pm. They are sent directly to the lab before attending class.


This post testing strategy has changed the test taking attitude at NVAE. Many students welcome the opportunity to test again and are pleased when they make progress. The student ID cards are now designed to track their progress with dates and scores posted. In 2018-19 Celebrating Student Success Celebration was implemented to formally recognize those students moving to the next NRS Leveled class each semester. One of the criteria for the promotion is completing a level. All students and teachers are invited by program area. There is a program listing all of all Level Completers with each teacher recognizing their students. Certificates and refreshments add to the celebration.

The Data

NVAE has used this culling method for post testing for two years. It is labor intensive and we are fortunate to have two staff to support the testing process. The AAS in charge of this task has seen the attitude of students change with this new procedure. Because many students are tracking their progress they feel challenged and want to reach the next level. In looking at the NRS Performance Table , NVAE exceeds CA Performance Goals in all Functional Levels when looking at the POP with MSGs w pre & post test for the last two years.

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