Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, in Washington, DC uses all levels of the CASAS Life Skills reading pre- and post-tests for its classes. The center offers Basic I, Basic II, Intermediate I, Intermediate II, and advanced classes. CASAS is the formal assessment of students' progress, and the center relies on the CASAS system for reporting outcomes.
Award-winning instructor Lorie Preheim sums up her feelings about using CASAS: "One of the greatest benefits of using CASAS with students is being able to show them that they are progressing and learning. Often students don't realize how much they have learned. Showing them their results with CASAS makes them proud of their accomplishments, increases their self-esteem, and ultimately increases student retention."
Mary's Center finds that CASAS has also been very helpful in the center's development of curriculum and lesson plans. Teachers review students' results with them individually and also as a class using the CASAS Class Profile. Teachers discuss with the class as a whole the items they already know and the items they need to learn. Students pick one or two topics from the list of items they need to learn, and these themes become part of the lessons for that semester. The center's use of the CASAS systems helps students to set goals, keeps teachers accountable to make the most of every session, and assists teachers in working toward helping students improve their literacy skills.