Georgia Office of Adult Education

Professional Information Site  

Office of Adult Education 
Technical College System of Georgia 

Policies and Procedures

Professional Learning Center

Program Areas


Self-Directed Learning for ABE/GED Assessment Practices

The resources and links below are divided into 7 categories with a brief annotation for each one. However, there is much overlap between many of the sites and each one may have information on ABE/GED assessment in more than one of the seven topic area.

I. General Assessment Information
II. The National Reporting System
III. Formal (Standardized) Assessments
IV. Informal (Alternative) Assessments
V. Testing Accommodations and Testing Tips
VI. Articles and Publications on ABE/GED Assessments
VII. Professional Organizations Focusing on ABE/GED Assessment

Suggestions for use: (1) proceed through some of the sites that offer general assessment information to get a basic understanding of the history of assessment in ABE/GED; (2) use the NRS section to become familiar with the framework for national reporting. Remember that the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education has prepared a Policy and Procedures manual that is specific for the state of Georgia. (3) in the sections on formal and informal testing, review the differences and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each; (4) the journals and books listed under Articles and Publications are offered as resources to gain more in-depth information about ABE/GED assessment; (5) use the section on professional organizations as a resource for all aspects of assessment.


National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)

"The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) is a nationally representative assessment of literacy among adults (age 16 and older) residing in households and prisons in the United States."

Stitch, T. G. (Adult Literacy in the United States: A compendium of Quantitative Data and Interpretive Coments. William B. Armstrong San Diego Community College District. San Diego, CA.

"Includes extensive quantitative data on the assessment of adult literacy skills and programs ranging from World War I (1917) up to the present."



NRS Implementation Guidelines

This site contains NRS Implementation Guidelines. It is divided into four chapters: History and Overview of the NRS; NRS Measure Definitions and Data Collection Methods; The NRS Data Collection Process; and Quality Control and Reporting.

Adult and Community Learning Services: Questions and Answers Regarding ABE Assessment

This site poses questions from Massachusetts practitioners on the implementation of NRS assessment guidelines.



Types of Standardized Tests

Stitch, T. G. (1999). Testing and Accountability in Adult Literacy Education. Focus on Workplace Literacy Resources for Program Design, Assessment, Testing, & Evaluation. CA.

"Abstract: Types of Standardized Tests. Scores on standardized tests do not have much meaning in and of themselves. If a learner correctly answers 60 percent of items on some standardized test, it is not clear what that means in the absence of other information that helps us interpret the score."

Test bank

"This Test Bank lists many assessments that are suitable to use with adults. It is organized alphabetically by test name and check marks are placed in the appropriate box to show if a component is assessed by the test."

Standardized Tests: Their Use and Misuse

"Saytest to nearly anyone-student, teacher, administrator-and the face clouds over. Beyond the simple fact that testing by its very nature tends to intimidate, there is good reason for this reaction. Indeed, in recent years the entire subject of testing and assessment has come into intense scrutiny at all levels of education from the lower schools on up. In adult literacy the issue has assumed particular relevance."


A comprehensive description of the TABE which includes: an overview; using the locator test; administering the TABE; Determining When to Re-test; Testing Accommodations; and Additional Testing Tips.



Assessing Adult Learners Through Project-Based Learning Instruction

This describes project-based learning and assessment and how these are incorporated into students' instruction through a portfolio system which incorporates both tradition and alternative methods.

Improving Performance, Reporting Results: The Guide to Using the EFF Read with Understanding Assessment Prototype

This 2004 publication provides an assessment framework for adult education programs across the countries that are using the 16 Equipped for the Future (EFF) standards.

Authentic Accountability

This site offers an archived discussion of accountability and "authentic accountability" (Eckert and Bell, 2004) in adult literacy education. From the Adult Literacy Education Wiki (ALEWiki).

Authentic Assessment Toolbox

A "how-to hypertext on creating authentic tasks, rubrics and standards for measuring and improving student learning."

Coalition of Essential Schools - Authentic Assessment

This website provides a collection of articles and resources "focused on the benefits and requirements of authentic assessment."

Contested ground: performance accountability in adult basic education

"This policy paper lays out key issues in performance accountability and presents recommendations for policy and action."

Crafting curricula aims for instructionally supportive assessment

This article analyzes how "state curriculum can be optimally configured to foster instructionally supportive assessment."

EFF Hot Topics: An Introduction to the Ten-Step Cycle as an Important Learning Tool for You

"The ten-step cycle conveys the ways in which assessment gets integrated throughout the process of instruction."

Equipped for the Future Assessment Report: EFF/NRS Data Collection Project, 2000-2001

The goal of the project is to enable programs using EFF as a framework for instruction to report student progress from level to level on the NRS.

Pennsylvania ABLE Administrators Fieldnotes: Learner Assessment for Program Improvement

This article provides detailed information on fostering "good procedures for collecting, checking, recording and using standardized assessment data...(as well as supporting) implementation and use of informal assessments."

" works to help you integrate technology into your classroom by offering FREE online tools and resources. This site helps teachers locate and create ready-to-use Web lessons, quizzes, rubrics and classroom calendars. There are also tools for student use. Discover valuable professional development resources addressing issues such as equity, ELL, technology planning, and at-risk or special-needs students."

I've come a long way: Learner-identified outcomes of participation in adult literacy programs

"The Learner Identified Outcomes study brings learners' perspectives to the ongoing research conversation on outcomes of participation in adult literacy education."

Outcomes of participation in adult basic education: The importance of learners' perspective

This paper suggests that learners have a different perspective on performance than the authors of the Workforce Investment Act.

Performance Assessments for Adult Education: Exploring the Measurement Issues: Report of a Workshop

This federal report explores issues in using performance assessments as high stakes tests, and provides information on how to set quality guidelines for alternative assessments.

Performance-based assessment: Promoting achievement for English language learners

A discussion of the need for assessments that focus on classroom learning.

The Rubric Bank

"In The Rubric Bank, you will find a wide variety of performance assessment scoring rubrics. These rubrics have been used by schools, districts and state departments of education throughout the country. The Web site also provides step-by-step directions for developing rubrics."



GED Accommodations for Students with ADHD and/or Learning Disabilities

This PowerPoint provides descriptions of ADHD and LD and suggests accommodations that are appropriate for these learners.

Sallie Johnson: Locator Test for Adult Basic Education

"Sallie Johnson teaches at the Adult Learning Center located in Lynchburg’s downtown historic district. She describes a how she reduces test anxiety for students and how she reports their test results to them. This is a very friendly reading."

Guidelines for Inclusive Test Administration

This document, by CTB/McGraw-Hill, "provides guidelines on the use and appropriate interpretation of the results of inclusive test administrations. These guidelines are intended to facilitate the valid interpretation of individual student results and valid comparisons of year-to-year and group-to-group summary data. Does not address the range of issues facing LEP students."

Educational Testing Service: Disabilities and Testing

"This site provides information to test applicants with disabilities who seek approval of reasonable testing accommodations."



Testing and Accountability in Adult Literacy Education

Stitch, T. G. (1999). Testing and Accountability in Adult Literacy Education. Focus on Workplace Literacy Resources for Program Design, Assessment, Testing, & Evaluation. CA.

This publication "provides information on the design and evaluation of workplace literacy programs. It discusses concepts and issues and provides bibliographic resources for those readers who want to learn more about how to design, develop and evaluate literacy programs in the workplace and other contexts."

A Model for evaluating the Impact of Workplace Literacy Programs

Mikulecky, L. & Lloyd, P. The Impact of Workplace Literacy Programs: A New Model for Evaluating the Impact of Workplace Literacy Programs. Indiana University, School of Education. Bloomington, Indiana. A publication of the National Center on Adult Literacy – Technical Report: TR93 2, Page 12.

Abstract: Parallel studies of two workplace literacy programs at different sites have been used: (1) to develop an impact assessment model for workplace literacy programs, and (2) to produce data on the impact of the two quite different workplace literacy programs in the areas of learner gains, workplace improvements, and literacy-related changes in learners' families. Assessments in these two workplaces were used to develop model techniques and instruments for impact assessment...

Documenting Outcomes for Learners and Their Communities

Bingman, M. B., Ebert, O., and Bell, B. (2002). Documenting Outcomes for Learners and Their Communities: A Report on a NCSALL Action Research Project. The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy. Report #20. Cambridge, MA.

"Various national efforts, particularly the National Reporting System, measure outcomes of adult education programs, but many questions remain about how local programs might document outcomes in ways that are immediately useful to students, teachers, and programs. This study is a response to those questions."

SABES: ABE License Support

This resource contains many publications that relate to Massachusetts standards. However, these publications are significant to ABE/GED professionals in general.

Learning Disabilities Training: A New Approach

Assessing Individual Strengths and Struggles: The Foundation for an Effective Training Plan

This publication discusses: the assessment process; formal and informal assessments; when a diagnostic formal assessment is appropriate; the impacts of auditory, visual and/or organizational learning disabilities; various informal assessment techniques (i.e. observation, work samples, dynamic assessment); involving learners in the assessment process; assessing adults' learning disability strengths and struggles in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, speaking, listening; and mathematics, memory, visual-spatial and attention; strengths and struggles; two informal assessment models for learning disabilities; effective assessment practices; evaluation criteria when selecting assessment tools.



Adult Education Content Standards Warehouse

"Supports adult educators' efforts to develop, align, and implement content standards in English language acquisition (ELA), mathematics, and reading. Includes how-to-guide and searchable database."

American Council on Education

Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) is the nation's unifying voice for higher education. ACE serves as a consensus leader on key higher education issues and seeks to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

American Evaluation Association

Devoted to the application and exploration of evaluation in all its forms

Appropriate Use of High-Stakes Testing in Our Nation's Schools

"Testing is an extremely valuable part of educational assessment, but it is only a part of the formula for quality learning. When tests are used in high-stakes circumstances, a number of safeguards must be in place. Because the stakes are so high for so many students, additional research should begin immediately to learn more about the intended and unintended consequences of testing in educational decision making. If tests are going to be used to determine which students will advance and what subjects schools will teach, it is imperative that we understand how best to measure student learning and how the use of high-stakes testing will affect student drop-out rates, graduation rates, course content, levels of student anxiety, and teaching practices. The bottom-line question, as yet unanswered, is: What will be the long-term effect of high-stakes testing on student achievement? Will it enhance or diminish broad-based learning?"

Association of Test Publishers

"Established in 1992, The Association of Test Publishers is a non-profit organization representing providers of tests and assessment tools and/or services related to assessment, selection, screening, certification, licensing, educational or clinical uses."

Assessment LINCS Special Collection

"On-line resources for practitioners and administrators dealing with learner assessment issues in adult literacy programs."

CAL Resource Guides On Line: Resources for ESL Assessment

This site includes information on digests, books, websites, email discussion groups, and ERIC documents.

Code of Fair Testing Practices

"The Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education is a guide for professionals in fulfilling their obligation to provide and use tests that are fair to all test takers regardless of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, linguistic background, or other personal characteristics."

Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement

"Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement serves as a guide to inform and remind those involved in educational assessment of their obligations to uphold the integrity of the manner in which assessments are developed, used, evaluated, and marketed. Moreover, it is expected that the Code will stimulate thoughtful discussion of what constitutes professionally responsible assessment practice at all levels in education."

Educational Testing Service

"Educational Testing Service is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization and a leader in educational research. ETS is a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research, primarily through testing. They develop and administer millions of achievement and admissions tests each year in the U.S. and 180 other countries. The company serves the needs of individuals, educational institutions, and government bodies in almost 200 countries. ETS develops and administers more than 12 million tests worldwide."

Educational Testing Service: Disabilities and Testing

This site "provides information to test applicants with disabilities who seek approval of reasonable testing accommodations."

Educational Testing Service (ETS) / Research Division

ETS Research

In addition to information on its own tests, features a research section with articles on testing, equity and new forms of assessment

EFF Assessment Resource Collection

"The EFF Assessment Resource Collection (ARC) contains resources for the adult literacy field to align curriculum, instruction, assessment and reporting with the EFF Content Standards."

ERIC: Education Resources Information Center

The ERIC database is the world's largest education database. Begun in 1966, it is composed of more than one million bibliographic records. "ERIC's mission is to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information that also meets the requirements of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002. A fundamental goal for ERIC's future is to increase the availability and quality of research and information for educators, researchers, and the general public."

Fair Test: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing

"The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial."

The GED and Students with LD and/or ADHD

Explains students' experiences struggling to take the test, and provides clear information on how to obtain information and help on testing accommodations.

Guidelines for Inclusive Test Administration

This 2005 document, by CTB/McGraw-Hill, "provides guidelines on the use and appropriate interpretation of the results of inclusive test administrations. These guidelines are intended to facilitate the valid interpretation of individual student results and valid comparisons of year-to-year and group-to-group summary data. Does not address the range of issues facing LEP students."

The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation

This has program, personnel, and student standards, as well as a listing of related publications.

The Joint Committee on Testing Practice

"The Joint Committee on Testing Practices (JCTP) was established in 1985 by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) joined JCTP in 1987. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the National Association of Test Directors (NATD) has since joined JCTP, which now consists of ACA, AERA, APA, ASHA, NASP, NATD, and NCME. According to its bylaws, JCTP provides 'a means by which professional organizations and test publishers can work together to improve the use of tests in assessment and appraisal.'"

LINCS Special Collection in Assessment

"The Assessment Special Collection provides access to quality on-line resources to practitioners and administrators dealing with learner assessment issues in adult literacy programs."

Literacies is a Canadian journal published in British Columbia in print and online. An issue on assessment and accountability will be found at

National Assessments of Adult Literacy

The National Assessments of Adult Literacy (NAAL) is a nationally representative and continuing assessment of English language literacy skills of American adults. It seeks to: describe the status of adult literacy in the U.S.; report on national trends; and identify relationships between literacy and selected characteristics of adults

National Center on Educational Outcomes

"The National Center on Educational Outcomes provides national leadership in the participation of students with disabilities in national and state assessments, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements."

National Council on Measurement in Education

The mission of NCME includes: "Encouragement of scholarly efforts to advance the science of measurement in the field of education: improve measurement instruments and procedures for their administration, scoring, interpretation, and use; and improve applications of measurement in assessment of individuals and evaluations of educational programs. Dissemination of knowledge about theory, techniques, and instrumentation available for measurement of educationally relevant human, institutional, and social characteristics: procedures appropriate to the interpretation and use of such techniques and instruments; and applications of educational measurement in individual and group evaluation studies. (Click on publications, then: "ITEMS: The Instructional Topics in Educational Measurement Series")"

National Reporting System For Adult Education

The web site for information, resources and training relating to the National Reporting System (NRS).

NIFL National Institute for Literacy

Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles: research-based assessment practices for the adult education classroom – an interactive website for adult education practitioners.

Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation

"Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation (PARE) is an on-line journal supported, in part, by the Department of Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation at the University of Maryland, College Park. Its purpose is to provide education professionals access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, evaluation, and teaching practice, especially at the local education agency (LEA) level."

Reading Assessment Database for Grades K-12

Every published reading assessment appropriate for use in Grades K-2 has been summarized in SEDL's Reading Assessment Database.

Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers: Guidelines and Expectations

The purpose of the Guidelines and Expectations is "to inform and to help educate not only test takers, but also others involved in the testing enterprise so that measurements may be most validly and appropriately used. This document is intended to encourage positive and high quality interactions between testing professionals and test takers."

SABES Assessment Support Website

"This Web site has been designed to help program managers, teachers, and other practitioners deal effectively with the learning gain assessment and reporting requirements in DOE-funded ABE programs in Massachusetts."

SABES Bibliography - Assessment and Evaluation

From the Assessment Support Website:

SRI International (Stanford Research Institute)

"SRI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute that conducts client-supported research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and nonprofit foundations. SRI is well known, in part, for studying the public policy areas of education, health, and economic development."

The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

This provides information on the content of this textbook, as well as information for purchase.


"WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults."


Compiled for the Office of Adult Literacy, Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education by Dr. Liz Dillon-Marable, Education Consultant, under the direction of Dr. Tom Valentine, Project Director of the University of Georgia Adult Literacy Technical Assistance Project.


Policy and Procedure Manual

On-Site Program Review Manual

Request For Application

Certified Literate Community Program


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