Smarter Balanced Overview
Starting in the spring of the 2014-15 school year, students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take the new Smarter Balanced tests in English language arts (ELA) and math.
But Smarter Balanced is more than just a once-a-year test. It’s a system, made up of three components:
- The Digital Library contains professional development materials designed to help teachers. These on-demand materials will be aligned to the
Washington State Learning Standards in ELA and math. It will also include an online collaboration platform to give educators a place to share what’s working in their classrooms.
District Assessment Coordinators (DACs), are currently working to provide access for their teachers.
Contact your DAC or designee for more information. DACs may email
firstname.lastname@example.org for technical help.
- Interim assessments are optional. They are flexible, non-secure periodic assessments to be offered at teachers’ and schools’ discretion throughout the school year. These computer-based tests will provide meaningful feedback that teachers can use to help students succeed.
Interim assessments are expected to be available this winter.
- Summative assessments are required. They will take place during the last 12 weeks of the school year. These computer-based tests will help schools evaluate how well their students performed by comparing them with students from other schools across the nation. The end-of-year assessments also will empower families by providing them with a clear indication of how well their children are progressing toward mastering the academic knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness.
The Washington State Legislature has provided funds to pay for all schools to have access to all three components. The only cost that might not be fully covered by the state is the cost of the summative test in paper/pencil format (an option available to schools for the first three years). The fee for the paper/pencil summative tests is $6 per test or $12 for ELA and math.