Smarter Updates

Learn more about Smarter Balanced’s latest assessment resources and releases, and updates around supports available to schools, districts, and member states.

Illustration of teacher standing next to Tools for Teachers website logo. Icons representing professional development, accessibility, the formative assessment process, and connections playlists float nearby.

Smarter Balanced Launches Tools for Teachers

Created by Educators, Website Provides Lessons and Activities to Support Instruction Educators can use Tools for Teachers to find trusted lessons and activities that they can use flexibly for remote or in-person instruction. The website was developed with a commitment to accessibility, making it easy for educators to find strategies that support diverse learners. Tools…

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Magda Chia, PhD., rejoins Smarter Balanced as Chief Strategy Officer October 15, 2020.

Smarter Balanced Hires Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Magda Chia Returns to Smarter Balanced Santa Clara, Calif. (September 10, 2020) — Smarter Balanced is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Magda Chia as our new Chief Strategy Officer. A former teacher, Chia served as a founding staff member of Smarter Balanced and specializes in the relationship between cultural and linguistic diversity and…

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Cover of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium "2020 Bach to School Assessment Playbook: Using the Smarter Balanced Assessment System to Improve Student Learning." The cover features the outline of a student sitting cross-legged with a computer in their lap.

Smarter Balanced Releases Back to School Assessment Playbook

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (July 23, 2020) – Smarter Balanced released the Back to School Assessment Playbook, which offers educators in Smarter Balanced member states guidance and recommendations regarding how they can use the new Tools for Teachers website, as well as nearly 150 interim assessment blocks, to accelerate learning this coming school year. The Playbook, developed in collaboration with Smarter…

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College entrance exam use in University of California undergraduate admissions.

UC Regents Vote to Conduct Feasibility Study; Includes Smarter Balanced As Option

(Santa Clara, Calif., May 21, 2020) – The University of California Regents approved a college entrance exam proposal today, voting to suspend its current standardized test requirement (ACT and SAT) for undergraduate admissions until 2024.  Starting this summer, UC will conduct a feasibility study, which includes whether to modify a current test, such as Smarter Balanced, as part of its…

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Practice Tests and Sample Items help students and teachers understand how the test works.

Newly Released Sample Questions Can Help Support Instruction

The Smarter Balanced Sample Items Website now includes 104 newly released test questions that previously appeared on the year-end (summative) math and English language arts tests in grades 3-8 and high school.  Educators can use the sample test questions to better understand how Smarter Balanced measures college and career ready content and what students need to know and do. The newly released questions add to the nearly…

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Smarter Balanced partnered with the California Department of Education to develop California Starting Smarter which launched publicly on April 24.

New Starting Smarter Website Launches

Resources to Help Parents Understand Score Reports and to Boost Learning at Home Last week, Smarter Balanced released the new Starting Smarter Website, which helps parents of children in grades 3-8 and high school use state score reports to better understand their child’s strengths and areas in need of improvement. This empowers parents to start a meaningful…

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