The schools in El Dorado County are finishing their trial runs of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing, which will gauge student progress toward meeting the Common Core State Standards and be fully implemented in spring 2015. Testing began in March and includes students piloting the electronic system, teachers and administrators evaluating exam procedures and training materials and information technology professionals reviewing the software and identifying potential technical issues to proactively address and remedy them. This testing period also allows schools to ensure that these critical-thinking and problem-solving assessments are accurate and fair for the students. More than 4 million students have participated in the field tests statewide.
“This is an enormous project, and I’m proud of the hard work conducted at the district and county levels to ensure our students and teachers are able to truly benefit from these assessments,” said El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Jeremy M. Meyers. “We are preparing our children for college and career readiness upon high school graduation, and these innovative exams will help make sure they are on the right timeline and path for significant future success.”
The SBAC exams are conducted on computers or electronic tablets and will replace the existing English/language arts and mathematics state assessments for grades 3 through 8. They will allow educators to evaluate the real-world skills of their students with 21st century tools, and information will be provided to teachers throughout the year to measure if students are succeeding or if they require additional assistance. Student participation in the pilot testing is confidential and did not affect any grades.
The SBAC is a state-led consortium that works to create next-generation assessments that accurately measure student development. For more information, visit the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s Website at smarterbalanced.org