Let’s say you are a new, or newish teacher, at Wake Tech. Tomorrow is your first class! You’ve prepared a thorough lesson plan that covers all the four skills and includes creative, communicative activities. You even have a brand new pack of markers! You are READY! With anticipation and excitement, you arrive at your classroom a bit early that first day. Once you are settled into your class and awaiting the students, the intake folks throw some green cards your way and say “ Have a great class!” Um, um….….huh? If you’re like me, you probably thought, “What are these for? And why do I need them?” So my dear teachers if any of that sounds a wee bit familiar, then you’re going to love today’s post. It’s all about those green cards, and why, you do, indeed, need them!
First things first. What happens at registration? Each new student takes both a written and an oral test. A file is created for each student which includes the following forms: a permanent record, publicity release, attendance policy agreement, ability to benefit, and a green card. The permanent record includes personal contact information and is also where the student’s test scores are recorded. Now, about those green cards………
They are a tool to help you track your student’s progress. They are another record of test scores, and provide some insight into the student’s personal history and education. It includes the following information:
- Name, Address, Phone
- Native country and language – Do they know the Roman alphabet?
- Number of years of education- Do they have a solid academic background, or are they coming to ESL with limited educational experiences?
- Student’s identification number-This is the number that the students use to sign in to class at many of the sites.
- Test scores and dates-Both the written and speaking score will be included. You can take a quick glance at the green card to see if the student is making progress, has achieved an educational gain for the year, or when the most recent test was administered.
- Class level placement-Each time a student is placed in a class, their level and time of day is noted.
Let’s take a look at our student named RICKY MARTIN.
First test: 7/15/14 Ventures writing test (VW) and Best Plus (B+) test
Date Lit Oral Form
7/15/14 50 420 VW/B+
9/10/14 471 B+ ( Gain)
A note about educational gains……..The NRS (The National Reporting System for Adult Education is an outcome-based reporting system for the State-administered, federally funded adult education program.). It is the organization that manages and reports educational outcomes in adult ed. As you know, our funding is now predominately determined by educational gains, and not only by the number of students attending class. What that means for us as teachers is that we need to demonstrate to our funders that our students are improving. Students are expected to make an educational gain each program year. An educational gain is when a student goes to a higher NRS level. Let’s look at Ricky Martin’s test results. Use the NRS chart to evaluate his test results.
|Best Plus Score||NRS Education Functioning Level|
|Below 400||Beginning ESL Literacy|
|401-417||Low Beginning ESL|
|418-438||High Beginning ESL|
|439-472||Low Intermediate ESL|
|473-506||High Intermediate ESL|
5/15/15 Ricky Martin got a Best+ score of 420, which placed him in the “High Beginning ESL” NRS level.
9/20/15 After 80 hours of class, he got a Best+ score of 471. This placed him into the “Low Intermediate ESL” NRS level. This is an example of a “gain”. He has moved up one level within the NRS.
Each student is expected to advance one NRS level every program year. These NRS levels don’t correlate exactly to our class levels, just fyi.
If Ricky Martin had scored 438 on his most recent Best+ test he would NOT have gotten an educational gain.
The next time you look at your students’ green cards, I hope the information makes a little more sense!
In the near future I’ll be reporting on the NRS.
Any questions you have about educational gains, green cards, or the NRS should be put in the COMMENTS section. I look forward to your feedback!