Smarter Updates

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

Watercolor illustration of a teacher standing in front of a chalkboard that says, "10 Years Smarter." Students sit at desks and stand nearby, some raising their hands.

Celebrating 10 Years of Collaboration

Smarter Balanced Honors Consortium Members and Educators for their Dedication to Developing High-Quality Measurement Tools and Instructional Supports Thank you, educators! As we celebrate Smarter Balanced’s 10th anniversary, we honor your work and the collaboration of hundreds of educators to build a fair, accurate system to measure what our students know and can do.  And…

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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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Illustration showing the Smarter Balanced supports for formative assessment strategies on a computer screen.

Remote Learning and the Formative Assessment Process

Strategies You Can Use During Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning The nature of remote learning is that there is more student autonomy—it is likely that students will participate with more independence when they are not located in the same space and/or instructional time as their teachers. Distance learning relies on the formative assessment process for success because…

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Screenshot of the Tools for Teachers website homepage.

Now Available for Preview: Tools for Teachers

Resources and strategies to help teachers do what they do best…teach! Available for educators in member states beginning June 16, 2020, Tools for Teachers is an easy-to-use website that features lessons and activities created by educators to enhance instruction, save time, and prepare students for college or a career. A Commitment to Supporting StudentsSmarter Balanced…

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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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Education Week article Testing Consortium Responds: 'We Couldn't Agree More'.

Letter to The Editor: Response to Commentary in Education Week

Testing Consortium Responds: ‘We Couldn’t Agree More’ Recently, Education Week published a commentary by Gregory Cizek, a professor of educational measurement and evaluation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The commentary, “The Widening Gulf Between Large-Scale and Summative Assessment,” focused on how Common Core State Standards have made it more difficult for…

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Example of an extra credit assignment that Jamie Elliott-Delaney, Guest Blogger received from her student.

We Are All In This Together (Remotely)

A Shout-Out to Smarter Balanced Performance Tasks Jamie Elliott-Delaney, Guest Blogger5th Grade TeacherAppoquinimink School DistrictMiddletown, Delaware Although I am a fifth grade teacher at heart, I have extreme love for any teacher who teaches grades K-5. The dedication, extreme multitasking, wearing of “several hats” daily, and the pure ability to be flexible in any given situation…

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COVID-19 News, Resources, and Updates from Across the U.S.

COVID-19 News, Resources, and Updates from Smarter Balanced States

COVID-19 is causing school closures, shifts to e-learning, and changes in testing schedules, creating unprecedented challenges for educators and families. Below, we’ve compiled links to national and Smarter Balanced members’ state information pages as a means to leverage knowledge across the consortium. NationalU.S. Department of Education COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School PersonnelEducation…

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