Smarter Updates

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

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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Three Tools to Help You (and Your Students) Get to Know the Smarter Balanced Summative Test: Training Test, Practice Test, and Sample Item.

Three Tools to Help You (and Your Students) Get to Know the Summative Test

Training Test, Practice Test, and Sample Items and When to Use Them Elizabeth Johnston, Guest BloggerEnglish Language Arts Teacher (7th Grade) With all the different tools and resources available to help us get familiar with the summative test, it can be confusing what the best use is for each one. Here is a summary of…

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Interims + Playlists + Digital Library = Powerful Instruction. How to use assessment data to identify gaps in learning.

Interims + Playlists + Digital Library = Powerful Instruction

NOTE: The Smarter Balanced Digital Library was decommissioned. Please visit Tools for Teachers, the new home for instructional resources and professional learning. How to Use Assessment Data to Identify Gaps in Learning Elizabeth Johnston, Guest BloggerEnglish Language Arts Teacher (7th Grade) We are getting into testing season and everyone wants to make sure their kids have…

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Educators Make it Happen!

Educators Gather in Portland, OR to Build Instructional Resources 

State Network of Educators Winter Workshop Provides Professional Development, Networking Over 120 educators from across 11 Smarter Balanced member states and territories recently met in Portland, OR to develop and review instructional classroom resources at the State Network of Educators Winter Workshop. Educators from as far as the US Virgin Islands and Hawaii collaborated to…

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Graphic: 5 Ways to Make Interims a Natural Part of Instruction.

5 Ways to Make Interims a Natural Part of Instruction

Elizabeth Johnston, Guest BloggerEnglish Language Arts Teacher (7th Grade)  Have you used interim assessment blocks (IABs) with your students? Do you use them as a common assessment with your team to identify student needs? Or maybe your district uses them as a tool to review student progress? Weaving interims into classroom activities is a natural way to…

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4 Ways to Use Interim Assessment Blocks in the Classroom.

4 Ways to Supercharge Learning with IABs

Tips and Tricks for Using Interim Assessment Blocks in the Classroom Interim Assessment Blocks are quick, flexible tools teachers can use with students as learning opportunities and to collect information about learning. Based on collaboration with, and feedback from, member state educators, here are the top four ways you can use IABs to give learning…

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Gov. Jerry Brown campaigning for passage of the Local Control Funding Formula in Los Angeles in 2013.

EdSource: Landmark reforms championed by Gov. Brown leave deep imprint on California education

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Jerry Brown at an Oakland campaign event with Barbara Boxer in 2010.

EdSource: Perspectives on Gov. Brown’s contributions to education — and what is yet to be done

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The highlighter is a universal test tool available on interim assessments, the summative test, and practice tests.

Five Built-in Test Tools Students Should Know (and Use!)

Familiarizing Students with Universal Test Tools Can Yield Confidence Boost Smarter Balanced digitally-delivered assessments (interims, the summative test, and practice tests) include a wide array of embedded universal test tools. These are available to students as part of the technology platform. Students gain confidence with the testing software when they understand how to use these…

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Image of a girl sitting at a desk smiling at the camera.

Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICAs) Provide Early Detection of College and Career Readiness

Educators can now use ICAs more effectively in Grades 9 & 10 with the release of new cut scores Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICAs) — one component of the complete assessment system — allow teachers to check student progress toward college and career readiness throughout the year. With new cut scores, or achievement levels, in grades 9 and…

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