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Spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test

Information on the Smarter Balanced Field Test that will be administered in spring 2014.

In spring 2014, California will administer the Smarter Balanced Field Test in English–language arts and mathematics. This Field Test is a major milestone in California’s transition to its new assessment system, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). This Web page provides access to the latest information and key resources for a variety of audiences about the Field Test.

California Smarter Balanced Portal

Online training modules, key resources, and access to the Practice Test, Training Test, Secure Browsers, and the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE) can be found in the California Smarter Balanced Portal External link opens in new window or tab..

Smarter Balanced Field Test Updates

To receive regular updates on the Smarter Balanced Field Test, join the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced e-mail list by sending a blank e-mail to subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

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California Assessments

The 2013–14 Smarter Balanced Field Test includes assessments in both English-language arts/literacy and mathematics. In addition, California will administer tests in other content areas that are not included in the Smarter Balanced system. All of these assessments are part of the CAASPP system, which replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.

The California Assessment System Chart shows all the tests that will be administered to California’s students in the 2013–14 school year. For more information about the tests to be administered in 2013–14, including some paper-based tests, visit the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) External link opens in new window or tab..

Teachers

The Smarter Balanced Field Test is an essential step toward the goal of implementing a system designed to ensure all students graduate college and career ready. Teachers play an essential role in achieving this goal.

Learning About the Field Test

Here are resources teachers can use to explain the Field Test to students:

  • Field Test Overview External link opens in new window or tab.
    Overview for teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for test administration. Additional resources are referenced in the video for use with students and parents. (9 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for High School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for High School Students – Spanish External link opens in new window or tab.
    Breve video para los estudiantes de escuela secundaria o preparatoria. Se da información esencial acerca del próximo examen exploratorio Smarter Balanced, donde encontraran el examen de practica en la Internet, y como obtener información adicional acerca de exámenes del estado de California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Middle School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Middle School Students – Spanish External link opens in new window or tab.
    Breve video para los estudiantes de escuela intermedia. Se da información esencial acerca del próximo examen exploratorio Smarter Balanced, donde encontraran el examen de practica en el internet, y como obtener información adicional acerca de exámenes del estado de California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Elementary School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video geared towards elementary-aged students gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (7 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Elementary School Students – Spanish (Coming soon)
    Breve video para los estudiantes de escuela primaria. Se da información esencial acerca del próximo examen exploratorio Smarter Balanced, donde encontraran el examen de practica en el internet, y como obtener información adicional acerca de exámenes del estado de California. (7 mins.)
  • What Is a Field Test? External link opens in new window or tab.
    Video for students that describes for students the purpose of field testing in general and answers questions about the Smarter Balanced Field Test in particular. (6 mins.)

Preparing for the Field Test

Teachers and students need to learn about the new types of test questions and have multiple opportunities to practice using the new test interface. Teachers are encouraged to become familiar with all components of the Field Test for their grade and content area and to use the resources with students in the classroom. While California Education Code prohibits programs designed solely for test preparation, Section 60611 clarifies that nothing in this section prohibits the use of materials to familiarize pupils with item types or the computer-based testing environment used in the CAASPP.

  • California Smarter Balanced Portal External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides resources for test administrators and students on such topics as keyboard commands for students, Smarter Balanced Practice Tests and Training Tests, performance tasks, student interface, test administrator interface, universal tools, and test administration overview.
  • Instructional Uses for Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab.
    Helps teachers integrate the assessment strategies and technology skills from the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests into daily classroom instruction. In addition to teachers, video is useful to administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for curriculum, instruction, and test administration. (8 mins.)
  • Smarter Balanced Question Types
    Provides examples of question types that students may encounter on the Smarter Balanced Field Test and the student technology skill required to respond to each question type.

Special Needs Students and the Field Test

Smarter Balanced provides assessment supports for all students, including those who are English learners and students with disabilities. These supports ensure that the assessments meet the needs of all students.

Other Resources

Professional Learning Modules

Professional learning modules (PLMs) are available at no cost to educators on the California Department of Education-sponsored Brokers of Expertise Web site External link opens in new window or tab. . These modules are intended to help teachers transition to the Common Core State Standards and can be taken individually or as a group.

Digital Library

The Digital Library, scheduled for release in Spetember 2014, will provide teachers with formative resources, tools, and professional learning opportunities that help teachers tailor instruction based on their students’ needs. Those resources and tools must meet the Quality Criteria for the Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab..

Administrators

The Smarter Balanced Field Test is an essential step toward the goal of implementing a system designed to ensure all students graduate college and career ready. Fully engaging in the Field Test will allow administrators to identify local and statewide concerns that will lead to improvements on the operational test. To help prepare for the Field Test, administrators should stay current regarding the Smarter Balanced Field Test and provide time and opportunities for teachers to prepare for the Field Test.

Technology Readiness

There are a variety of resources to help local and site administrators prepare for the technology needs of the Field Test.

Teacher and Student Readiness

Teachers and students need to learn about the new types of test questions and have multiple opportunities to practice using the new test interface. Teachers are encouraged to become familiar with all components of the Field Test for their grade and content area and to use the resources with students in the classroom.

  • Field Test Overview External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides overview for teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for test administration. Additional resources are referenced in the video for use with students and parents.
    (9 mins.)
  • Instructional Uses for Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab.
    Helps teachers integrate the assessment strategies and technology skills from Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests into daily classroom instruction. (8 mins.)
  • California Smarter Balanced Portal External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides information about such topics as the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests and Training Tests, performance tasks, student interface, and universal tools.

Student Registration, Designated Supports, and Accommodations

CALPADS

Another important part of preparing for the Field Test is ensuring that specific student-level data elements are updated in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) on a frequent and consistent basis. Students who are not in CALPADS will not be able to access the Field Test. At a minimum, LEAs should ensure that student information, inclusive of student name and grade are up-to-date and accurate in their local information system and CALPADS prior to the Field Test.

Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE)

Smarter Balanced provides assessment supports for all students, including those who are English learners and students with disabilities. After students are uploaded into CALPADS, district and school site educators will need to identify the designated supports or accommodations for English learners and students with special needs, and work with the district test coordinators and technology staff to upload that information into TIDE.

  • TIDE Online External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides link to online TIDE system for California users.
  • TIDE Video External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides an overview of the TIDE system and describes how to access it, navigate it, and complete system-specific tasks. (21 mins.)
  • TIDE User Guide for California Users External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    Provides California TIDE users guidance for the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test.

Special Needs Students and the Field Test

Test Administration Readiness

Parent Communications

Students/Parents

En Español

The Smarter Balanced Field Test is an essential step toward the goal of implementing a comprehensive new statewide assessment system designed to ensure that all children graduate prepared for college and careers in the global economy of the twenty-first century. Participation in the Field Test will give students valuable exposure to the future assessment system, including hands-on experience with the functionality of technology-enhanced test questions and performance tasks with related classroom activities. Further, participation in the Field Test will support positive changes, which have been planned to better prepare all children to successfully graduate from high school and be ready for college and careers.

Learning About the Field Test

Here are resources parents and their children can use to learn about the Field Test:

  • Field Test Video for High School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Middle School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Elementary School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video geared toward elementary-aged students gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (7 mins.)
  • What Is a Field Test? External link opens in new window or tab.
    Video for students that describes for students the purpose of field testing in general and answers questions about the Smarter Balanced Field Test in particular. (6 mins.)
  • Field Test Overview External link opens in new window or tab.
    Overview for teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for test administration. Additional resources are referenced in the video for use with students and parents. (9 mins.)

Preparing for the Field Test

Parents and students need to learn about the new types of test questions and have multiple opportunities to practice using the new test interface. The Smarter Balanced Practice Tests External link opens in new window or tab., available for all grades and both content areas, cabn be used for practice purposes.

Parent Communications

Technology

Technology Readiness

Technology staff is essential in making sure the Smarter Balanced Field Test and operational assessments function as intended. This spring Field Test gives technology staff valuable exposure to test administration logistics that will help to identify gaps in technology and better prepare for a smooth transition to the operational tests in 2014–15.


There are a variety of resources to help technology staff prepare for the technology needs of the Field Test.

CALPADS

Another important part of preparing for the Field Test is ensuring that specific student-level data elements are updated in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) on a frequent and consistent basis, especially before, during, and after the Field Test. Students who are not in CALPADS will not be able to access the Field Test. LEAs should ensure that all student enrollment, demographics, and program information are up-to-date and accurate in their local information system and CALPADS.

Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE)

Smarter Balanced provides assessment supports for all students, including those who are English learners and students with disabilities. After students are uploaded into CALPADS, district and school site educators will need to identify the designated supports or accommodations for English learners and students with special needs, and work with the district test coordinators and technology staff to upload that information into TIDE.

  • TIDE Online External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides link to online TIDE system for California users.
  • TIDE Video External link opens in new window or tab.
    Provides an overview of the TIDE system and describes how to access it, navigate it, and complete system-specific tasks. (21 mins.)
  • TIDE User Guide for California Users External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    Provides California TIDE users guidance for the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test.

Community Partners

The Smarter Balanced Field Test is an essential step toward the goal of implementing a comprehensive new statewide assessment system designed to ensure all children graduate prepared for college and careers in the global economy of the 21st century. Participation in the Field Test will give students valuable exposure to the future assessment system, and hands-on experience with the functionality of technology-enhanced test questions and performance tasks with related classroom activities. Further, participation in the Field Test will support positive changes, which have been planned to better prepare all students to successfully graduate from high school and be ready for college and careers.

Learning About the Field Test

Here are resources to help community partners understand and learn about the Field Test:

  • Field Test Overview External link opens in new window or tab.
    Overview for teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for test administration. Additional resources are referenced in the video for use with students and parents. (9 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for High School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for High School Students – Spanish External link opens in new window or tab.
    Breve video para los estudiantes de escuela secundaria o preparatoria. Se da información esencial acerca del próximo examen exploratorio Smarter Balanced, donde encontraran el examen de practica en la Internet, y como obtener información adicional acerca de exámenes del estado de California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Middle School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Middle School Students – Spanish External link opens in new window or tab.
    Breve video para los estudiantes de escuela intermedia. Se da información esencial acerca del próximo examen exploratorio Smarter Balanced, donde encontraran el examen de practica en el internet, y como obtener información adicional acerca de exámenes del estado de California. (5 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Elementary School Students External link opens in new window or tab.
    Brief student video geared toward elementary-aged students gives key information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test, where to find the online practice test, and how to get additional information about testing in the State of California. (7 mins.)
  • Field Test Video for Elementary School Students – Spanish (Coming soon)
    Breve video para los estudiantes de escuela primaria. Se da información esencial acerca del próximo examen exploratorio Smarter Balanced, donde encontraran el examen de practica en el internet, y como obtener información adicional acerca de exámenes del estado de California. (7 mins.)
  • What Is a Field Test? External link opens in new window or tab.
    Video for students that describes for students the purpose of field testing in general and answers questions about the Smarter Balanced Field Test in particular. (6 mins.)

Preparing for the Field Test

Community partners may want to learn about the new types of test questions students will experience on the Smarter Balanced assessments.

  • Community partners may want to learn about the new types of test questions students will experience on the Smarter Balanced assessments. The Smarter Balanced Practice Tests External link opens in new window or tab. are available for all partners to use for practice purposes and include practice tests for all grades and both content areas.

Learning About the Smarter Balanced Assessment System

  • The American Chamber of Commerce Executives, in collaboration with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, has developed the Chamber of Commerce Smarter Balanced Flyer (PDF) to inform the business community about what the Smarter Balanced assessment system will mean for them. (Note: Does not reflect California’s administration of the Smarter Balanced Field Test.)

 

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Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
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