Smarter Balance Update

From the Department of Education:

SBAC Options Update

DOE expects to offer all districts the SBAC options beginning in the fall of 2014 and to replace the SAT with the 11th grade SBAC assessment. The SAT may be offered as an additional state-funded option if funds are available. From Rachelle Tome on November 20, 2013:

“It is expected that the state will transition to new assessments in the spring of 2015.  We will use the same assessment program for grades 3-8 and high school.  The assessment program includes interim and formative assessments that are designed to address standards for grades 3-8, high school, but will be available for educators K-12.  If state funds allow, we are still considering the possibility of providing the SAT as an additional option, but not as a substitute for the state assessment.  Actual costs can’t be determined until the contract for our assessment provider is completed.  At that time, we will know if the SAT option is possible.  It is our expectation that interim assessments will be available to educators for the fall of 2014.”


What does this mean?

One of the choices to be made about SBAC was whether this assessment would replace the SAT in 11th grade.  It will.  It remains to be seen if the SAT will still be funded by the State, which I believe has been valuable in getting students to consider post-secondary options.

By including the option for interim and formative assessments, the DOE is paying for options beyond the actual test used in grades 3-8 and grade 11 for NCLB and accountability measures (such as the new State of Maine report card).  These interim and formative assessments are intended to allow schools or teachers to test small cohorts of students using the SBAC aligned assessments.  This could, depending on the quality of the assessment tools, provide schools with another growth measure for student achievement, intermediate measures of student achievement, and tools for checking on progress against standards throughout the school year.  According to the preliminary information, these interim and formative assessments would be for school or class level use, available on demand, and could target any or all students in a classroom.  If nothing else, they could provide us with opportunities to familiarize students with the web based assessment tool.  Hopefully, it will turn out to much more than that for schools and teachers.

If you wish to see the new test and try it for your self, go here.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter the student portal.


About shawncarlson

Assistant Superintendent
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