English Language Arts (ELA)/Reading
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English Language Arts (ELA) Assessment

In alignment with the Common Core State Standards, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year Washington State is transitioning to the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment System has three major components: end-of-year summative assessments* designed for accountability purposes; a digital library which is a suite of tools and resources that support classroom-based formative assessment practices; and interim assessments designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year.

*The summative test will replace the MSP and the HSPE for accountability and annual yearly progress.

High School Assessment Options 2014–2015

Graduation assessment requirements vary by Class. Please see www.WAtesting.com for details.

Legacy Resources

MSP and HSPE Item Specifications for Grades 3-High School

Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work (PDF)

HSPE Writing Resources

The Teacher Resource Tool provides specific item stems from previous MSP/HSPE assessments. These are aligned to the EALRs and feature cognitive complexity and state performance data from previous State Reading Assessments.

Teacher Resource Tool

Other Reading Assessment Resources, aligned with the EALRs, can be used in the classroom or at home for extra support.

What's New?

Paper-Pencil Supports
OSPI has developed sample booklets to familiarize students and educators with the format of the paper-pencil version of the Smarter Balanced tests in grades 3–8 and high school.

Scoring ELA Smarter Balanced
The grades 3, 6, and 11 Scoring Guide for Performance Task Full-Writes is now available on the Smarter Balanced website. The scoring guide is designed to help educators understand the scoring process for the Performance Task Full-Writes.

Presentations from Trainings
Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) (December 2014)

Association for Middle Level Educators (AMLE) national conference (November 6–8)

  • An overview of the ELA Smarter Balanced System
    • Analyzing quality text
    • Creating meaningful questions

Leadership Coaches with Office of Student and School Success (OSSS) (November 19)

  • An ELA and Math overview of the Smarter Balanced System
    • Digital Library – Formative Assessment
    • Interim Assessment
    • Summative Assessments

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