SBAC CDE News
- Technology Readiness Data Collection Window Extended
- SBAC eNewsletter Launched
- Updated Item Specifications Documents Available
- Guidelines for Purchasing New Hardware
The SBAC CDE weekly update is an email sent each week to inform California educators and parents of new developments and upcoming events. Please feel free to share information in the update with those who are interested in the SBAC CDE’s work.
- Technology Readiness Tool Data Collection Window Extended—The first data collection window for the Technology Readiness Tool has been extended to June 30, 2012 (11:59 p.m. Hawaiian time). This extension was made at the request of states and will allow districts more time to submit data following the end of the school year. After the window closes, the data will be extracted, cleaned, and incorporated into a report regarding a technology plan and support for legacy operating systems (expected to be completed August 2012). Please be aware that the tool will remain open for subsequent data edits in preparation for the second data collection window anticipated in September 2012.
- SBAC eNewsletter Launched—SBAC News, the SBAC’s monthly eNewsletter, will provide updates on the development of the assessment system and activities in member states. The May edition includes information on new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) tools and resources, support for classroom teachers, and technology readiness—along with recent articles and announcements from SBAC. SBAC News is available on the SBAC Web site . To sign up to receive future editions, sign up at the SBAC Stay Connected Web page . Please be sure to add email@example.com as an approved sender to ensure the message doesn’t get labeled as spam.
- Updated Item Specifications Documents Available—The item specifications provide item writers with guidance on how to translate the CCSS into items and tasks that will be contained within the SBAC assessment. It is recommended that individuals read the General Specifications document to best orient them to the breadth of the available materials. There are both item tables and sample items available. These documents represent the best current thinking on item alignment; however, SBAC expects them to be updated as ongoing item and test developments occur. In addition, guidelines for bias and sensitivity, accessibility and accommodations, and style help item developers and reviewers ensure consistency and fairness. The updated item specifications materials are available on the SBAC Web site . Below are direct links to the general ELA/literacy and mathematics item/task specifications documents.
- Guidelines for Purchasing New Hardware—designed to inform schools and districts on current and future technology purchasing decisions consistent with SBAC requirements. The guidelines include hardware and operating system specifications covering the vast majority of commercially available computers and tablets. Specifications are described below. The full guidelines are available online at SBAC Web site . The Guidelines for Purchasing New Hardware Frequently Asked Questions are at the end of this update.
Hardware Operating System Networking Device Type
- 1 GHz or faster processor
- 1 GM RAM or greater memory
- 9.5 inch (10 inch class) or larger screen size
- 1024 x 768 or better screen resolution
- Windows 7
- Mac 10.7
- Linux (Ubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16)
- Chrome OS
- Apple iOS
- Android 4.0
- Wired or wireless Internet connection
- Desktops, laptops, netbooks, thin client, and tablets that meet the hardware, operating system, and networking specifications
The CDE and SBAC understand that schools and districts may be making decisions about what types of hardware and software to purchase for future instructional and assessment use. The Guidelines for Purchasing New Hardware document will be useful in determining that any devices acquired over the next two years will be compatible with the new assessments. As part of your plans to support instruction, districts and schools may select computer systems that meet or exceed these guidelines and be confident that those systems will work with the assessments in the 2014-15 school year. Support for operating systems not specified, predating those specified, or with processor capacities lower than recommended, will be described in future updates to these guidelines on the SBAC site listed above.
These specifications do not constitute the full list of technical requirements that will be necessary to administer the SBAC assessments 2014-2015. The SBAC member states will collaborate to use the Technology Readiness Survey and assessment design processes currently underway to shape the full and final list of requirements including guidance on bandwidth, test system security, and alternate input devices. Thus, it is vitally important that schools and districts continue to complete the Technology Readiness Survey. By using the Technology Readiness Tool, schools and districts will be able to submit information on key readiness indicators, including: number and type of computers and devices; ratio of devices to test-takers; local network and bandwidth infrastructure; and local staff resources.
CDE SBAC Events
Technology Readiness Data Collection Rollout —
- April 16–June 30, Statewide LEAS Data Collection: The statewide data collection window is now open and will close on June 30, 2012. Visit the CDE SBAC IT Readiness Tool Web page to view materials related to the statewide Technology Readiness Tool rollout. The reporting system for the Technology Readiness Tool will include district reports and the submission status for each school where information has been submitted.
SBAC CDE Resources
- Join the SBAC CDE electronic mailing list by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To receive Common Core State Standards CDE Updates via e-mail notification, subscribe to the from CDE listserv by sending a blank message to email@example.com.
- SBAC CDE Web site—The Smarter Balanced CDE Web site includes access to archived SBAC CDE Updates, resources, and presentations.
- SBAC External Web site—The Smarter Balanced external Web site showcases the SBAC work and provides frequent updates on activities, milestones, and events.
- SBAC is on Twitter—Follow @SmarterBalanced to get resources and links to the latest SBAC news.
- Assembly Bill (AB) 250—The AB 250 Statewide Pupil Assessment Web page provides the latest information about the reauthorization of California's assessment system.
- Automated Student Assessment Prize winners announced—Sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, the Automated Student Assessment Prize (ASAP) evaluated the ability of technology to assist in grading essays included in standardized tests. The second phase of the competition awarded $100,000 to three winning teams that developed software that came closest to replicating the scores of essays graded by trained educators. Information on the winners is available at the Getting Smart Web page . The research produced by the competition is impressive and will help SBAC understand the extent to which automated essay scoring can be used in the development of Smarter Balanced assessments. More information is available in the LA Times
- SBAC Year Two, Second Quarter Project Report available—The quarterly project report for the period ending March 31, 2012, details SBAC progress in key areas and priorities for the next three months
SBAC Question/Answer of the Week
Q: Does a shared assessment system require a shared or common curriculum?
A: No. SBAC believes that curriculum decisions are best made by educators at the local and state levels. States participating in SBAC will have access to professional development materials and instructional resources for teachers through a digital library. These tools are optional and can be used, as needed, to complement state curriculum supports to districts and teachers.
Q: Will Smarter Balanced assessments be available for private schools in the 2014-15 school year in states that will be using the Smarter Balanced assessments to test public school students?
A: Access to the Smarter Balanced assessments for private schools is one of a number of implementation issues being addressed by the SBAC Sustainability Task Force. This task force will provide recommendations regarding how states will procure, administer, and maintain the Smarter Balanced assessment system after the federal grant ends in October 2014. This work is associated with RFP-22, Organization Development and Business Process Consulting. More information is posted at the SBAC Jobs-Contracts Web page . Recommendations from the task force are expected later this year.