Smarter Updates

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

Montana Educators: ‘Thrill’ to Be a Part of Item Review Process

Two educators from Cut Bank Public Schools in Montana reflected on their experience participating in a three-day Smarter Balanced item review conference this summer. Educators from all over the nation met to review items in math and English language arts. In an article appearing in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press, Cut Bank Middle School Principal Gail Hofstad wrote…

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Opinion: Teacher Supports the Need for Annual Testing

Esther Cepeda recently returned to the classroom after several years away. She wrote an opinion piece on annual standardized testing that appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Aug. 27, 2016. Cepeda wrote that that she supports the need for annual testing and recent polling shows a strong majority of Americans feels the same way….

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Education Next Releases Public Opinion Poll

Education Next released its annual state of education poll, and testing performed well (as it did in 2015). Parents continued to strongly support high-quality assessments that accurately measure their children’s learning. Other findings involving assessments included: nearly 80 percent of respondents favoring yearly assessments, 73 percent supporting assessments that are comparable among states and school…

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Six States Have Released Smarter Balanced Scores

Late August traditionally starts the beginning of the reporting of state test scores, and that trend has continued in 2016. With the release of California’s CAASSP scores Wednesday (Aug. 24), six states using Smarter Balanced assessments have released scores, with most showing solid growth in 2016 from 2015, the first year that the Smarter Balanced…

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National Evaluations Again Confirm Quality and Alignment of Smarter Balanced End-of-Year Test

Two more external evaluations have declared Smarter Balanced to be a high-quality test strongly aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The Smarter Balanced high school test received the highest possible ratings. The extensive alignment studies—conducted in grades 5 and 8 by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and in high school by the Human Resources…

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Nation’s Best Teachers Say Smarter Balanced Is Dramatically Better than Old State Tests

The nation’s best teachers said they believe using the Smarter Balanced assessment system puts students on a better trajectory than previous state tests, according to a report issued today. Working in conjunction with EducationCounsel, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year reviewed several end-of-year assessments and compared them to Smarter Balanced. The reviewers…

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New Resources for Parents

Univision Updates Clave al Éxito Univision is set to release Phase II of its tool for Spanish-speaking parents, Clave al Éxito (Key to Success). This tool is aligned to the Common Core and features the following: Grade-by-grade guides on what children should be learning each year A Parent Academy with comprehensive videos and tools for parents to engage…

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Multiracial group of six friends taking a selfie at graduation, in their black caps and gowns.

Smarter Scores for College

New collaboration between higher education and K–12 Across the country, Smarter Balanced states have been notifying high schoolers and their parents how they can use their Smarter Balanced test scores for college. The basic message: high school students who take the test in 11th grade now have an opportunity to jumpstart their college coursework and…

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‘Testing to the Teaching’

Educators Collaborate to Develop New Math Performance Tasks It’s not every day that world-renowned mathematics scholars can collaborate side-by-side with K-12 educators. But that’s just what happened in Boston this summer as leading math faculty, including Fields Medal winner David Mumford, joined K-12 teachers from Smarter Balanced states to develop the next phase of mathematics…

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Close to 200 Colleges and Universities to Use Smarter Balanced Scores as Part of Placement

April 15, 2015 — High school students who take the Smarter Balanced exam in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington could enter postsecondary institutions and directly enroll in credit bearing courses. Colleges and universities in these six states will use the high school score as evidence that students are ready for entry-level, credit-bearing courses…

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