SBAC CDE News
- Technology Readiness Tool
- Apple Makes iPad Ready for Summative Tests
- Item Writing/Review and Research
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— The first data collection window for the Technology Readiness Tool closes on June 30. At that time, a snapshot will be taken of all the information submitted by schools and the first readiness analysis will be completed. The analysis will guide SBAC in the development of the assessment system and help policymakers in developing strategies to systematically address educational technology gaps. To ensure that this information is as accurate as possible, it is critical that all schools complete the inventory by the end of June.
- Apple makes iPad ready for summative tests—Apple announced this week that iOS 6, the upcoming version of the operating system that powers iPads, will include enhancements to facilitate large-scale secure assessments. The “Guided Access” feature will allow assessment systems to lock down iPads by limiting users to a single application, disabling the home button, and restricting touch input to certain areas of the screen. These features will improve security in a testing environment, preventing students from launching an Internet browser or capturing images of test questions. iOS 6 is compatible with the second- and third-generation iPads. For more information, visit The Journal Web site , which has a detailed article on iOS 6. An updated version of SBAC’s New Hardware Purchasing Guidelines includes this information, as well as additional clarifications.
- Procurement—Several important contracts are expected to be awarded this summer, including RFP-11/18/20 Test Engine Development; RFP-12 Initial Achievement Level Descriptors; RFP-15 Report Development; and RFP-19 Test Administration. Through these contracts, SBAC will address key questions about the assessment system, such as the overall length and footprint of the assessments, the design of the online reporting system, and the categories describing the different levels of student achievement
- Item Writing/Review and Research—Teachers from SBAC Governing States will participate in the writing and review of assessment items and performance tasks for the Pilot Test of the assessment system in early 2013. In addition, students in 11 states will be recruited in June and July to participate in cognitive labs that will study how students approach and interact with different types of computer-administered items. In California, emails were sent to school districts in Monterey and Los Angeles counties asking for support in conducting the cognitive labs. Students with disabilities, students who are English language learners, and students with limited computer experience are strongly encouraged to apply. If your district (in Monterey and Los Angeles Counties ONLY) is willing to assist with any aspect of this important research, please contact Elizabeth Herring at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the helpdesk at 866-815-6541 by Monday, June 18 and provide the name and phone number of a district contact who can help coordinate logistics.
Technology Readiness First Data Collection Window to Close June 30, 2012 —
- April 16–June 30, Statewide Local Educational Agencies Data Collection: The statewide data collection window is now open and will close on June 30, 2012. Visit the CDE SBAC Web site 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
- The Alliance for Excellent Education and the K-12 Center will host a webinar about the report on June 25, 2012, from 1–2:30 p.m. eastern. The event will feature Kathleen Scalise from the University of Oregon, who participated in a SBAC webinar on innovative item types, and Test Administration Work Group member Juan D’Brot from the West Virginia Department of Education. Online registration is available.
SBAC CDE Resources
- Join the SBAC CDE electronic mailing list by sending a blank e-mail to email@example.com.
- To receive Common Core State Standards CDE Updates via e-mail notification, subscribe to the from CDE listserv by sending a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Smarter News, the SBAC's monthly eNewsletter —Smarter Balanced provides monthly updates on the development of the Smarter Balanced assessment system and activities in member states.
- 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.
- K-12 Center Report on Technology and Assessments—The K-12 Center at ETS released a new report about how technology impacts assessment through greater accessibility, technology-enhanced items, and personalized learning. Sea Change in Assessment: How Technology Is Transforming K-12 Testing is available online.
SBAC Question/Answer of the Week
Q: To what extent will the assessments measure 21st-century skills?
A: The SBAC system will measure the full depth and breadth of the Common Core State Standards in ELA/literacy and mathematics. The authors of the Common Core explicitly focused on the cognitive skills and knowledge that students need to be ready to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing, academic college courses and in workforce training programs. Critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills are a major focus in the standards. Through innovative items and performance tasks, SBAC will measure these important skills.
However, the Common Core authors also note that the standards are not meant to encompass everything a student should learn, or describe all of the skills that students need in the 21st century. Indeed, academic readiness—as defined by the Common Core—is only part of a more comprehensive set of knowledge and skills that contribute to college and career readiness, such as work habits, persistence, and postsecondary planning.