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CASAS History

Since 1980, CASAS has worked to help improve basic skills for success in the family, community and workplace. See how we've developed as a leader in the field of adult education over the years.

2014

  • CASAS releases Life and Work 980 Listening Series (NRS approved through June 30, 2016).

2013

  • California Department of Education (CDE) renews CASAS data collection and reporting contract.

2011 and Beyond …
2000s – High-Quality Data, Accurate Reporting and Program Improvement Lead to International Contracts
1990s – Establishing Long-Term Partnerships, Embracing Technology
1980s – Genesis, Growth and Recognition

2011

  • California Department of Education (CDE) renews CASAS data collection and reporting contract.
  • CASAS releases the Basic Skills Content Standards for Math to establish a common set of content standards for adult education programs across the country. (Reading and Listening Standards were released in 2006.) Speaking and Writing Content Standards are in development.
  • CASAS releases new software applications that share the same database:
    • CASAS eTests (ET) Online, an Internet-delivered assessment tool that may be used independently to provide immediate test-scoring and basic student-level reports. It shares a database with
    • TOPSpro Enterprise (TE) Online, a data management system designed to support classroom and learner management as well as provide accountability functions, including NRS reports.

2010

  • California State Senate Resolution recognizes and commends CASAS for contributions to the field of adult education and literacy throughout California and nationally.
  • CASAS introduces Adult Low-Level Literacy Curriculum Modules for ABE.

2009

  • Instituto Nacional de Idiomas S.A. (Instituto Para Universitario Richard Nixon) in Costa Rica awards CASAS contract to provide CASAS eTests software.
  • CDE renews CASAS data collection and reporting contract.

2008

  • Singapore Workforce Development Agency enters into contract with CASAS to develop computer-delivered writing and speaking assessments to complete their system.
  • CASAS separates from the Foundation for Educational Achievement as independent 501(c)(3) corporation.
  • CASAS receives funding from the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities to develop 30 online curriculum modules in the content areas of community participation and employment preparation for youth and adults with low-level literacy skills, including adults who have intellectual disabilities.

2007

  • Florida Department of Education awards CASAS contract to develop a standardized assessment to measure the basic literacy and oral English language skills of low literacy level adult ESOL learners.
  • Escuela Americana in El Salvador awards CASAS contract to provide TOPSpro and CASAS eTests software.
  • California Department of Developmental Services renews grant to continue refining and expanding CASAS assessment including data analysis for adult learners with developmental disabilities.

2006

  • CDE renews CASAS data collection and reporting contract.
  • CASAS releases the Basic Skills Content Standards for Reading and Listening to establish a common set of content standards for adult education programs across the country.

2005

  • CASAS celebrates 25 years of growth, hosting largest ever National Summer Institute (873 registrants from across the United States and Pacific Rim).
  • Singapore Workforce Development Agency contracts with CASAS to expand their Employability Skills System to include computer-adaptive testing.

2004

  • Singapore Workforce Development Agency contracts with CASAS to develop, implement a pilot and evaluate a comprehensive competency-based Employability Skills System (ESS). Program rolled-out successfully in 2005.
  • California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) contracts with CASAS to expand existing CASAS assessment instruments for adult learners with developmental disabilities.

2003

  • CDE renews CASAS data collection and reporting contract.
  • CASAS publishes research brief: “Study of the CASAS Relationship to GED 2002,” showing a clear positive relationship between CASAS reading scores and overall GED results.
  • CASAS begins the Basic Skills Content Standards Project to establish a common set of content standards for adult education programs across the country.

2001

  • U.S. Department of Education approves CASAS as the only assessment system that meets NRS requirements to measure learning gains of adult learners in both ABE and ESL programs. CASAS is also the only assessment system that has valid and reliable assessments for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • CASAS collaborates with Iowa Department of Education to develop a statewide adult basic education (ABE) TOPSpro-based electronic reporting system in order to meet the requirements of WIA Title II and NRS.

1999

  • CDE contracts with CASAS to collect and report on data for all federally-funded WIA Title II adult education students per new federal reporting requirements.

1998

  • The Workforce Skills Certification System was developed in collaboration with CASAS, Strumpf Associates: Center for Strategic Change of Washington, DC and LEED-Sacramento (Linking Education and Economic Development), a non-profit coalition of business, labor, education and government organizations.
  • Workforce Investment Act (WIA) passed (supersedes the Job Training Partnership Act). Provides funding for:
    • Workforce Investment Programs (Title I)
    • Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs (Title II)
  • NRS (National Reporting System) establishes accountability measures and procedures to conform to WIA requirements.
  • Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act passed.
  • CASAS receives a federal grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs – Research and Innovation to Improve Services, to validate the POWER standardized performance-based assessment system with consumers who have intellectual disabilities and are enrolled in adult and community college programs.

1997

  • CASAS and ACT participate in joint research study; coauthor final report of results entitled Extending the Ladder: From CASAS to Work Keys Assessment.

1996

  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia contracts with CASAS to provide training and test materials for implementation of the Employability Competency System and assessments for adults with disabilities in its TAFE (Technical and Further Education) vocational education program.

1995

  • CASAS receives a federal grant from the United States Department of Education, Rehabilitative Services Administration, to develop a standardized performance-based assessment system (POWER) for consumers with intellectual disabilities and to use the assessment results to write individual transition plans.

1994

  • CASAS receives a federal grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, to validate the Employability Competency System with ninth and tenth grade secondary students who have learning disabilities and to use assessment results to determine goals for transition plans.
  • CASAS receives a federal grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, to validate the Employability Competency System with eleventh and twelfth grade secondary students who have learning disabilities and to use assessment results to determine accommodations needed to transition into postsecondary options

1993

  • CASAS applies for and again receives U.S. Department of Education approval of validation claims that use of CASAS systems leads to increased participation, significant learning gains and higher likelihood of goal achievement by students.
  • CASAS expands database management and reporting software applications to aid in classroom instruction and data collection efforts.
    • TOPSpro (Tracking of Programs and Students – Database Management and Reporting)
    • Computer-Based Tests (CBT)
    • QuickSearch (Instructional Reference Database)

1992

  • CASAS develops and administers Basic Citizenship Skills Examination as part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service citizenship testing program. From 1992 to 1997, CASAS managed 224 public and nonprofit testing centers in 23 states. More than 180,000 examinees were tested (approximately 10,000 per month tested during peak periods).

1991

  • Workforce Learning Systems (WLS) developed at request of CASAS National Consortium. WLS provides the tools for business and educational collaboration to offer quality workplace literacy classes.
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons contracts with CASAS to develop a customized ESL Placement Test.
  • Development Associates contracts with CASAS to study learning gains of adult education learners for the United States Department of Education ten-year study of adult education.

1989

  • The San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) Foundation becomes the Foundation for Educational Achievement (FEA), an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. CASAS becomes a division of FEA.
  • CASAS assists a national initiative for Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)-funded programs called the “Project of the States” to develop customized reading, math and employability assessment tools for Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington.

1988

  • CASAS Consortium grows within California as well as membership from other states implementing CASAS. In addition to implementation in adult education programs, CASAS is now used in welfare reform programs, JTPA, correctional education, family literacy, and in youth continuation education programs.

1987

  • CASAS develops and implements the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) Pre-Enrollment Appraisal for the California Health and Welfare Agency (CHWA) and the CDE. Appraisal determines eligibility for enrollment in state ESL programs and certifies minimum levels of English language and literacy.
  • CASAS conducts statewide survey of newly legalized persons for the California Health Workforce Alliance (CHWA) involving interviews with 5,000 subjects.
  • CASAS disseminates IRCA Pre-Enrollment Appraisal outside California at request of other states with large populations of eligible legalized persons.
  • CASAS develops the Oregon Basic Adult Skills Inventory System (BASIS) reading and math appraisal for the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and the Oregon Department of Income Maintenance.

1986

  • Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) passed.

1985

  • California introduces Greater Avenues to Independence (GAIN) welfare reform program in 1985, targeting welfare recipients.
  • CASAS develops the GAIN Appraisal for the California Department of Social Services, a basic skills screening instrument to determine referral of welfare recipients to adult education programs statewide.
  • CASAS applies for and receives U.S. Department of Education funding under the auspices of the SDCCD Foundation.
  • CASAS develops the Employability Competency System Appraisal for the JTPA Summer Youth Program to document literacy levels of youth enrolled in JTPA programs. CASAS also provides statewide data collection, analysis and reporting of the data to CDE and state JTPA staff.

1984

  • U.S. Department of Education validates CASAS as an exemplary curriculum management assessment system in the area of adult literacy; approves funding for national dissemination.
  • Maryland and Connecticut are the first states (outside California) to mandate statewide adoption of CASAS in adult education programs.

1983

  • Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) passed.

1982

  • First test series is implemented in California across 45 agencies for adult life skills in listening comprehension.

1981

  • First test series is implemented in California across 45 agencies for adult life skills in reading and math.
  • CASAS established as a consortium of California adult education agencies with a grant of $18,000 from the CDE to the SDCCD with Patricia Rickard as director.
  • CASAS convenes first annual Summer Institute with 50 participants at University of California, Irvine to begin development of an adult assessment system with a consortium of adult education agencies.
  • CASAS and the California consortium of agencies validate a set of basic skill competencies essential for functioning in the family, community, and workplace. Initial development and validation of test items and tests begins.

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