Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

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) are all available from 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.

Flash | Communications | Resources Search

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. Teachers who are prepared and prepare their students for the Field Test will benefit from new insights for classroom instruction, improved student learning, and a more successful Field Test experience.

Learning About the Field Test

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

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 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 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.

  • Keyboard Commands for Students External link opens in new window or tab.
  • Smarter Balanced Practice Tests External link opens in new window or tab.. This resource is available for practice purposes, professional development activities, and discussions with other stakeholders. It includes practice tests for all grades and content areas, performance tasks, classroom activities, and scoring guides.
  • Smarter Balanced Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab.. This resource is available to allow teachers and students to experience an exam with full suite of interactive features. The Training Test does not include performance tasks.
  • Performance Task Overview External link opens in new window or tab.. This module provides District/School Test Coordinators and teachers an overview of what a Performance Task is and the purpose of the classroom activity as it pertains to the performance task.
  • Student Interface for Online Testing External link opens in new window or tab.. This module explains to District/School Test Coordinators, Test Administrators, and teachers how to navigate the Student Interface.
  • Let's Talk Universal Tools External link opens in new window or tab.. This module acquaints students and teachers with the online, universal tools (e.g., types of calculators, expandable text) available in the Smarter Balanced assessments. This module should be shown to students in a classroom/group setting. For grades 3-8 it is encouraged that the teachers be in the room to answer questions from the students as they view the module.
  • Smarter Balanced Test Administration Overview External link opens in new window or tab.. This module prepares District/School Test Coordinators and Test Administrators with an overview of procedures, including policy matters and test security processes.
  • Test Administrator (TA) Interface for Online Testing External link opens in new window or tab..This module presents an overview on how to navigate the Test Administrator Interface.
  • Instructional Uses for Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab.. The purpose of this eight minute video is to help teachers integrate the assessment strategies and technology skills from the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests into daily classroom instruction. The primary audiences for the video are teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for curriculum, instruction, and test administration.

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 spring 2014, will provide teachers with formative resources, tools, and professional learning opportunities that help teachers tailor instruction based on their students’ needs.

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.

  • Smarter Balanced Practice Tests External link opens in new window or tab. . This resource is available for practice purposes, professional development activities, and discussions with other stakeholders. It includes practice tests for all grades and content areas, performance tasks, classroom activities, and scoring guides.
  • Smarter Balanced Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab.. This resource is available to allow teachers and students to experience an exam with full suite of interactive features. The Training Test does not include performance tasks.
  • Performance Task Overview External link opens in new window or tab.. This module provides District/School Test Coordinators and teachers an overview of what a Performance Task is and the purpose of the classroom activity as it pertains to the performance task.
  • Student Interface for Online Testing External link opens in new window or tab.. This module explains to the District/School Test Coordinators, Test Administrators, and teachers how to navigate the Student Interface.
  • Let's Talk Universal Tools External link opens in new window or tab.. This module acquaints students and teachers with the online, universal tools (e.g., types of calculators, expandable text) available in the Smarter Balanced assessments. This module should be shown to students in a classroom/group setting. For grades 3-8 it is encouraged that the teachers be in the room to answer questions from the students as they view the module.
  • Field Test Overview External link opens in new window or tab.
  • Instructional Uses for Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab.. The purpose of this eight minute video is to help teachers integrate the assessment strategies and technology skills from the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests into daily classroom instruction. The primary audiences for the video are teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for curriculum, instruction, and test administration.

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.

TIDE

Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) External link opens in new window or tab. . 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 earners and students with special needs, and work with the district test coordinators and technology staff to upload that information into TIDE. These resources help districts ensure that the assessment supports meet the needs of all students.

Special Needs Students and the Field Test

District/Site Test Coordinator and 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 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 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:

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.

  • Smarter Balanced Practice Tests External link opens in new window or tab.. This resource is available for parents and their children to use for practice purposes. It includes practice tests for all grades and content areas.

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.

TIDE

Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) External link opens in new window or tab. . 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 earners and students with special needs, and work with the district test coordinators and technology staff to upload that information into TIDE. These resources help districts ensure that the assessment supports meet the needs of all students.

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:

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.

Learning About the Smarter Balanced Assessment System

  • Chamber of Commerce Smarter Balanced Flyer (PDF). This flyer was developed by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives in collaboration with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to inform the business community about what the Smarter Balanced assessment system will mean for them.

 

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