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Smarter Balanced: On Track and Moving Forward
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  1. Smarter Balanced: On Track and Moving Forward Joe Willhoft, Executive Director Presentation delivered as part of the series: Spotlight on Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Ready, Set, Go: Smarter Balanced Assessment System in Connecticut March 31, 2014

  2. Agenda • How is Smarter Balanced Different? • Progress in Developing the Assessment System • Field Test • Addressing Key Issues: • Technology • Student Privacy • Setting Performance Standards (“cut scores”) • Sustainability

  3. About Smarter Balanced

  4. Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium 24 states & territories (22 governing, 1 advisory, 1 affiliate) K-12 & Higher Education Leads in each state

  5. A Balanced Assessment System Summative assessments Benchmarked to college and career readiness Teachers and schools have information and tools they need to improve teaching and learning Common Core State Standards specify K-12 expectations for college and career readiness All students leave high school college and career ready Teacher resources for formative assessment practices to improve instruction Interim assessments Flexible, open, used for actionable feedback

  6. Assessing the Common Core • Identify • List • Draw • Define • Memorize • Calculate • Illustrate • Who, What, When, Where, Why • Measure • Arrange • Name • Tabulate • Repeat • Match • Design • Recall • Categorize • Recognize • Use • Connect • Infer • Level One • (Recall) • Graph • Organize • Synthesize • Classify • Level Four • Modify • Level Two • (Skill/Concept) • Apply Concepts • Describe Explain Interpret • Smarter Balanced assessments move beyond basic skills and recall to assess higher-order skills such as critical thinking and problem solving • Cause/Effect • (Extended Thinking) • Relate • Critique • Predict • Prove • Compare • Level Three • (Strategic Thinking) • Analyze • Interpret • Estimate • Create • Revise • Assess • Summarize • Develop a Logical Argument • Use Concepts to SolveNon-Routine Problems • Show • Critique • Construct • Compare • Apprise • Investigate • Explain • Formulate • Draw Conclusions • Hypothesize • Differentiate Source: Webb, Norman L. and others, “Web Alignment Tool” 24 July 2005. Wisconsin Center of Educational Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2 Feb 2006 • 6

  7. Educator Involvement

  8. Accessibility & Accommodations Note: For detailed information, see the Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines 8

  9. Test Development Update

  10. Assessment Development Pilot Test: Approximately 650,000 students at more than 4,000 schools Field Test: Expect more than 3 million students at more than 20,000 schools

  11. Field Testing: A Practice Run of New Assessments “Tests the tests” to ensure fair and accurate assessments for all students in spring 2015 Gives teachers and schools chance to practice test administration procedures and gauge tech readiness Gives students opportunity to experience the new assessments No individual or school scores/results will be produced

  12. Field Test Scope • Testing Window: March 25 to June 6 • All 22 Governing States and US Virgin Islands • At least 3 million students (research sample = 1.9M) • Most states: 10% of students in English, 10% in math • Several states (CA, CT, ID, MT, SD) testing most or all students • More than 20,000 schools in more than 4,000 districts • 21,000 questions/performance tasks in English and math, grades 3-8 and 11

  13. Resources to Help Schools Prepare • Practice Test (will be updated May 2014) • Both subject areas, grades 3 through 8 and 11 • Approx. 23 items & 1 performance task in each subject • Uses same software as operational test • Most accessibility and accommodation features • Training Test • Quick Introduction to Smarter Balanced interface, item types, and resources • 14 items combined in English and math (all item types represented) • Grade bands (3 – 5, 6 – 8, and high school) • All accessibility and accommodation features • Communications Toolkit of Easily Customizable Resources: • Parent Notification Letter (in English and Spanish) and Robo-call Script • Parent Q&A • PowerPoint Presentation (suitable for use at PTA meetings) • Newsletter Article • Web Buttons to drive traffic to Practice and Training Test • Visit

  14. Addressing Key Issues

  15. Technology Requirements Responsive to School Needs • Online “Readiness Tool” allows schools and districts to evaluate technology readiness • Standards have been established for new and existing hardware • Schools do NOT need one-to-one computers • Technology standards maximize access to online testing (support for older machines and operating systems, small file size to reduce bandwidth requirements) • School with 600 students could test online with a single 30-computer lab • Smarter Balanced Tech Readiness Calculator allows schools to estimate number of testing days and associated bandwidth • Pencil-and-paper option available for three-year transition period

  16. Safeguarding Student Privacy • States endorsed principle that each state will retain control of its student data. • Smarter Balanced will share no student-level information with the federal government. • Smarter Balanced will not provide data to third parties (e.g. researchers) without state approval. • PARCC and Smarter chiefs recently sent letter to Secretary Duncan affirming that consortia will not change state reporting practices. • Each state has entered data privacy and security agreements to safeguard student information.

  17. Setting Performance Standards Content Standards (Common Core) define what students must know and be able to do. Performance Standards define how well or how thoroughly students have mastered the content standards. Currently, each state sets its own performance standards. Under Smarter Balanced, seeking consensus among 22 states! Four Performance Levels: Level 3 = on track to college/career readiness at a particular grade. Standards set through a deliberative process involving primarily K-12 teachers and higher education faculty. Opportunities for parent involvement as well. Standard setters will be able to reference outside benchmarks (e.g. NAEP, SAT, ACT)

  18. Standard Setting Calendar

  19. A Smarter Future

  20. Sustaining Smarter Balanced • Federal grant funding consortium expires 9/30/14 • Working with UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies to serve as host and partner for a sustainable Smarter Balanced. • Key principles: • Retain state led governance of the Consortium (only minor changes to governance structure envisioned). • Shared state ownership of the item pool, digital library, and other IP. • Smarter Balanced will perform services necessary to maintain quality and comparability of the assessment system; states and their vendors will manage test administration.

  21. Future Work Continuing the work of the Proficiency Based Learning Task Force Investing in supports for mathematic reasoning Validating AI scoring and promoting the value of handscoring Commission additional formative modules Commission additional items and tasks Move summative items and tasks from summative to interim Validate achievement standards and the assessment itself

  22. Questions/Discussion