About Smarter Balanced Assessments

As part of the Race to the Top program, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a total of $330 million in September 2010 that will strengthen the hold that the federal government and special interests have on K-12 curriculum content, increase the frequency of standardized tests, diminish the importance of traditional classroom tests, and further marginalize the role of parents and teachers. This assessment program:

  • Has the stated goals of:
    • Developing new standardized tests aligned with the Common Core Standards
    • Testing students annually from third grade through high school
    • Providing “ongoing feedback to teachers during the course of the school year” as well as measure annual student growth.
  • Provided federal grants to:
    • SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for $160 million
      • SBAC consists of 29 states that include CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, KS, KY, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, VT, WA, WI, and WV
      • SBAC will test students using computer adaptive technology that will ask students tailored questions based on their previous answers.
      • SBAC “will continue to use one test at the end of the year for accountability purposes,” but will also create a series of interim tests used to inform students, parents, and teachers about whether students are on track.
  • Included twelve states that participated in both consortia: AL, CO, DE, GA, KY, ND, NH, NJ, OH, OK, PA, and SC
  • Did not have any participation from six states (Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming) plus American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands participated in neither consortium
  • Is scheduled for implementation by the 2014-15 school year.
  • Will, as noted above, include annual multiple administration of standardized tests to students that, as the Department of Education notes, “could replace already existing tests, such as interim assessments that are in common use in many classrooms today” (emphasis added)

Source:

U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Announces Winners of Competition to Improve Student Assessments
http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-secretary-education-duncan-announces-winners-competition-improve-student-asse

SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Content Specifications with Content Mapping or the Summative Assessment of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
REVIEW DRAFT
Available for Consortium and Stakeholder Review and Feedback
August 9, 2011