How to Access Educational Functioning Level (EFL) Completion Data

How to Access Educational Functioning Level (EFL) Completion Data

A student's pretest score determines what their starting Educational Functioning Level.  Look at the Federal Tables to determine that.  Calculating the number of students completing each level can be done a number of ways.  But there are two essential numbers you need: number of students starting the year by EFL, and the percentage of students who complete each level.

You can get the number of students in each level in two ways: SMARTT or Cognos (in March).  In SMARTT this information can be obtained from the Site Assessment Report (Primary Set).  See this tutorial for using Excel to tabulate that data.  In Cognos, this data is available starting in March at the Performance Reports.  More on that below.  

The percentages of students completing each level is part of the 'Tool' created by ACLS here (see the spreadsheet).  An adapted one is also linked to at the bottom of this tutorial.

Key Resources:

  • Federal Tables: See . These show how each EFL is defined relative to the National Reporting System (NRS)-approved assessment scores (E.G. MAPT, TABE, BEST Plus). Note the BEST Plus has been revised (BEST Plus 2.0) and the new EFL Level demarcations can be found here:
  • Performance Reports (in Cognos) -- see below.  These show real-time current EFL completion data, as well as past data, filtered per level. Available in March.
  • Federal Reports (in Cognos) – see below. These are the tables the state of Massachusetts uses when reporting to the National Reporting System (NRS).  They only show past data, no current data is accessible. Federal Report data is available starting in July for the previous year.
  • Tool for Determining Program Targets.  This is a modified spreadsheet provided by ACLS to assist in comparing current EFL Completion data with State performance targets.


Key Concepts

  • A student’s pretest score -- on the assessment marked as primary in SMARTT -- determines which EFL they are placed in. For example if a student’s first Best Plus score of the fiscal year (FY) is 426, according to the Federal Tables, that student would be included in the ‘High Beginning ESL’ EFL.  If the first score of the FY is a 537 in MAPT, that student would be included in the ‘Low ASE’ EFL.
  • A student’s final post test score determines if they stayed in the level they started in, or whether they ‘completed’ that level. If a student advances two or more EFL levels in a single FY, that is still considered just ‘completing’ the level that they started in.
  • Table 4 looks at the entire population of students who had both a pretest and at least 12 hours of attendance. Table 4B only looks at the population of students who had at least two tests (a post test).
  • Completing an EFL is different than a MA defined 'meaningful' learner gain as delineated in the MA State Performance Standards (FY16 or before).
  • It is important to track EFL completion rates by level.  The Performance Reports in Cognos and the tracking tool (Excel) can help with that.


Cognos Reports

Performance Reports (do not confuse this with 'Performance Standards Reports')

The Performance Reports can be found in two places: on the Homepage tab in the middle of the Standardized/Ad-hoc section; or, on the Desk Review tab.

Once in Performance Reports, set the filter on the left to “EFL Comparison.”  Note other filters allow you to look at past years and different the different levels of class or site or project.

Note: “Col D” refers to Column D from Table 4 of the Federal Tables.  “Column D is the total number of learners who completed a level, including learners who left after completing and learners who remain enrolled and moved to one or more  higher levels.”


Use Performance Reports with the Excel Tool

Use the "Tool for Determing Program Targets," an Excel spreadsheet, to see how your site or project is doing with respect to state percentages. Find it linked to at the bottom of this tutorial.

Open the spreadsheet and 'Enable Editing.'

Go back and forth between Cognos and Excel, recording respective numbers in the spreadsheet from what you find in Cognos.  

  • In Excel's Column C -- "#Students beginning level" -- put the number from the "#Enrolled" column in Cognos.
  • In Excel's Column D -- "#Completed (Col D)" -- put the number from the "# Col D# column in Cognos.
  • Column E -- "Actual EFL Completion Now" -- will show you the percentage for current data.  


Federal Reports

EFL data is in Table 1, 4, and 4B of the Federal Reports. All Federal Reports can be found at the bottom of the ACLS Homepage.  They are viewable from a site, project, agency, and state perspective (first four links).  In addition, data can be viewed by each EFL and compared to other sites, projects and agencies (last link).  More on that at the bottom.









When Clicking Federal Reports – Site Level a page loads (can take time) that has these filter options on the left side:








Each column in a table is defined and highlighted in yellow at the bottom of the page. For example, Table 4 column key looks like this:



For FY16 and previous, the sixth Performance Standard -- NRS EFL Completions --is based on the data in Table 4, Column H.

The fifth linked report in the Federal Reports Section – Table 4: By Education Level -- allows programs to compare themselves with other programs by individual EFL. Here, site names have been obscured.


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