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SBAC E-mail Update Issue 49

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) e-mail update sent out on January 14th, 2013.

Index of archived SBAC e-mail updates


The California Department of Education (CDE) Smarter Balanced update is a bimonthly e-mail that reports on current and upcoming Smarter Balanced development activities. To join the CDE Smarter Balanced e-mail list, send a blank e-mail to

In this issue:

State Superintendent’s Recommendations for Transitioning to a Future Assessment System

On January 8, 2013, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson provided a report to the Legislature with recommendations for transitioning California to a future assessment system. In forming recommendations, the SSPI consulted with many stakeholders throughout the state through various outreach efforts, including the Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Work Group, stakeholder focus groups, regional public meetings, a statewide reauthorization survey, and a reauthorization e-mail account. The SSPI’s report includes: an overview of the current statewide assessment system; current transition efforts; a summary of stakeholder feedback; and 12 recommendations for the transition to a new assessment system.

The recommendations call for the implementation of and access to the full range of Smarter Balanced assessments; advocate assessments in other curricular areas; support the use of innovative item questions and technology-based resources, such as automated scoring engines; encourage ongoing consultation with stakeholders to develop alternative paths or options for meeting high school graduation requirements; support local use of diagnostic assessments for grade two; encourage developing reporting resources; and advise a suspension of Standardized Testing and Reporting Program assessments not mandated by federal law or the Early Assessment Program.

The SSPI’s recommendations report is posted on the CDE Statewide Pupil Assessment Web page. Questions about this report should be directed to the CDE’s Assessment Development and Administration Division at 916-319-0803.

Technology Readiness Tool—New Features

Several changes, effective January 2013, have been made to the Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Tool (TRT) to support readiness reports and school exception reports. The Device Indicators and Network Indicators reports will show a percentage of readiness in the following ranges: 0–25 percent (red), 26–50 percent (orange), 51–75 percent (yellow), and 76–100 percent (green). In addition, a separate method to mark the “School Complete” checkbox has been implemented. There is also a new option, “School Exception Report,” under the Results & Indicators tab. The report has various options to allow a district-level user to identify schools that are in various stages of TRT completion.

This information can be accessed from the CDE Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Tool Web page. Once on the Web page, please select the link “TRT January 2013 New Features.” If you have questions about these new features, contact the CDE Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Coordinator by e-mail at

Spring 2013 Pilot Test

The secure browser for the spring 2013 Smarter Balanced pilot test is now available through the Smarter Balanced portal External link opens in new window or tab. . The Test Coordinator Manual is now posted on this portal and available in conjunction with Pilot Test Training for the scientific component. Smarter Balanced released a Pilot Test Web page External link opens in new window or tab. for the public and schools.

Questions about recruitment, contact the Data Recognition Corporation by phone at 800 847-3193 or by e-mail at For questions about the pilot test, contact the American Institutes for Research (AIR) help desk by phone at 866-815-7246 or by e-email at AIR will continue to respond to questions submitted to

Upcoming Opportunity for Teacher Participation in Formative Assessment Efforts

Within the next month, Smarter Balanced is expected to initiate contract work for the development of a digital library of exemplar instructional experiences with embedded formative assessment practices. Upon commencement of the contract, the CDE will form a network of California educators to participate in the review of submissions to populate the digital library. It is anticipated that approximately 100 California educators will be part of this consortium-wide network of educators. Further information about this opportunity will soon be provided to local educational agencies.

More Information

Additional information about Smarter Balanced is available on the CDE Smarter Balanced Web page and on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

General questions about the Smarter Balanced assessments should be directed to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office by phone at| 916-445-8765 or by e-mail at

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Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
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