2015 Week of May 22


Educators from across the country gather to design Smarter Balanced test

Educators from across the country are coming together this week and next to help design and refine Smarter Balanced assessments.


Making good on a promise to include classroom teachers at every stage of test development, the consortium held collaborative work sessions at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Connecticut, with educators representing 13 states.


Over the course of two weeks, 70 educators with expertise in mathematics and English language arts will review and edit performance tasks to make sure they are aligned to the standards they are assessing, and are written and designed in a way that students can understand. Performance tasks are an item type designed to provide students with the opportunity to critically analyze and synthesize information and to support their responses with evidence. After the educators have refined the performance tasks, they will be field tested with students and further analyzed prior to being included in live tests.  



Statement from Executive Director Tony Alpert on PARCC test time

"An innovative and adaptive test that measures critical thinking, like Smarter Balanced, is naturally going to take longer than a traditional multiple choice test, which encourages rote memorization. Smarter Balanced is highly customized for each student and takes less time than comparable assessments. In fact, early estimates from states indicate that students are actually taking less time on the test than anticipated. We will be reviewing feedback and examining the assessment for a number of issues, including time. Our number one priority continues to be measuring college and career ready standards, including critical thinking."



More than 5 million students take Smarter Balanced

With a few weeks left in the test administration window, more than 5 million students across 18 states and one territory have taken the Smarter Balanced end-of-year test; this represents 70 percent of the students expected to take the test.