Smarter Balanced Assessment
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) is a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. Smarter Balanced is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards by the 2014-15 school year.
The work of Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed – regardless of disability, language or subgroup. Smarter Balanced involves experienced educators, researchers, state and local policymakers and community groups working together in a transparent and consensus-driven process.
This new system moves our students from paper, pencils and bubble sheets to 21st century technology. Students will take their English Language Arts and Mathematics tests on computers. Rather than a one test fits all approach, the new system will adapt the questions based on a student’s answers. As a student demonstrates proficiency in a given area, the test will respond by providing more advanced questions. If a student struggles with correct responses to a concept the test will adapt to a lower level of questioning. The benefit of this type of system is that it will provide a more focused insight into a student’s academic knowledge.
Smarter Balanced Assessment in SUSD
SUSD will participate in the Field Testing for Smarter Balanced during the 2013-2014 school year in either English Language Arts or Mathematics or both (contingent upon our assignment by the state), aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Full testing will take place in 2014-2015.
All students in grades 3-8 will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The test takes approximately 3.5 hours per student, but is administered over multiple sessions of about 45 minutes or as appropriate.
SUSD will deploy Chromebooks and site computer labs to take the tests.
For more information, please contact Roberta Zarea, SUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.