Last Spring, 4.2 million students in California participated in the Smarter Balanced Assessment field test. The purpose of the test was to give students an opportunity to try the online computer assessment as well as collect information from the scientific sampling from every state for use in developing cut off achievement levels.?
Ultimately, the panels of educators decided on four achievement levels or cut off scores for math and English for grades 3-8 and grade 11. Level three is proficient while level 4 is the highest level. Classroom teachers had a lot of input in creating the four achievement levels, which they based on achievement level descriptors.?
The good news about smarter balanced assessments was that although students experience high anxiety prior to the test, the actual test experience was positive. Additionally, the field test served as preparation for the computer based testing. Technology at many schools has been upgraded. The testing experience gave us information about the need to improve the accommodations for students with IEPs. Finally, the best news is that the SBAC are untimed. Students are encouraged to take as much time as they need.