SBAC/CDE Top News
- English language arts and literacy (ELA/Literacy) Claims Vote
- Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee—Open solicitation for nominees
- Hewlett Foundation Assessment Prize
- Fourth Quarter Project Report Available
- Upcoming Events
- Question/Answer of the Week
- ELA/Literacy Claims Vote—Voting by the SBAC Governing States on the ELA/literacy claims opened on January 11 and will close on January 18. The SBAC Content Specifications for ELA/literacy have been through two rounds of review and extensive revisions and editing based on the feedback from states and organizations. These claims will serve as the basis for essential assessment development decisions, such as test design and reporting categories.
- Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee—Solicitation for Nominees—Nominations by Governing States are being accepted for experts to join the SBAC Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee. The committee will assist the work groups and other SBAC efforts by providing guidance on how to develop accessible assessments for all students. Consideration will be given to individuals in academic positions and/or leadership roles in advocacy organizations whose areas of interest include the assessment of students with disabilities. Nominations by Governing States are due by January 24, 2012.
- Hewlett Foundation Assessment Prize—On January 9, 2012, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced that it will award a $100,000 prize to the designers of software that can reliably automate the grading of essays for state tests. The “Automated Student Assessment Prize” (“Prize”) competition is being supported by SBAC and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium and is intended to begin to solve the problem of the high cost and the slow turnaround resulting from the time-consuming and expensive task of hand-scoring thousands of essays for standardized tests. The competition will be conducted in two phases. The first will demonstrate the capabilities of existing vendors who create and market software for grading essays. The second phase will be open to the public and will award prize money to competitors who demonstrate software that can score essays as well as human graders. The vendor demonstration will be completed in January with the open competition running through April to allow competitors time to develop new scoring algorithms. A public leader board will monitor progress. Refer to the Hewlett Foundation Web site (Outside Source) for additional information about the competition.
- Fourth Quarter Project Report Available—The SBAC quarterly project report for the period ending September 30, 2011 can be found at the Smarter Balanced Resources page (Outside Source). The report details the Consortium’s progress in key areas and provides updates for each work group.
CDE/SBAC Upcoming Events
- CDE SBAC January 2012 Presentations to the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Sub-Committees. CCSESA is made up of 58 California’s County Superintendents of Schools and their respective county offices of education. The primary aim of County Superintendents is to work collaboratively with school districts to ensure that every student benefits from a quality educational experience, regardless of their circumstances. The January 2012 presentations include:
- January 18, 2012 CDE SBAC Update to the Regional Assessment Network (RAN). RAN members are made of twelve California Regional Assessment Representatives The purpose of RAN is to develop a knowledge and understanding about California’s assessment and accountability systems and facilitate communication between CDE and the County Offices of Education which provide information to schools and school districts in their region.
- January 20, 2012 CDE SBAC Update to the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC). CISC initiates collaborative leadership with school districts, the CDE, and other partners to ensure programs, practices, and services that support success for all students. The committee identifies statewide curriculum and staff development needs, provides a communication and implementation network for curriculum and professional development activities, and assists the CDE in adopting and implementing instructional materials and developing publications such as curriculum frameworks.
- January 26, 2012 CDE SBAC Update to Technology and Telecommunications (TTSC). TTSC exists to develop, maintain, coordinate and support advanced cost-effective technology delivery systems, services, curricula and other educational resources by providing statewide leadership, planning, coordination and evaluation in order to equip California's students with the literacy needed to compete in tomorrow's economy.
- January 27, 2012 CDE SBAC Bi-monthly Update to Education Coalition (EDCO) Representatives. EDCO is a group made up of advocacy groups including the CCSESA, the Association of California School Administrators, the California Association of School Business Officials, the California Federation of Teachers, the California School Boards Association, the California School Employees Association, the California Teachers Association, California’s Parent-Teacher Association and the California Service Employees International Union. One to three representatives from each organization were nominated to participate in regularly scheduled monthly WebEx meetings to receive SBAC updates, to provide feedback, and to discuss transition needs for the new set of state assessments scheduled for the 2014–15 school year.
- Visit the California State Board of Education Web page to view agenda items related to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
SBAC Question/Answer of the Week (Taken from SBAC States Update)
Q: One of the SBAC states writes: We have a few questions about the paper/pencil test that we may administer in 2015. We are receiving questions from our schools about not being ready for the online test but need some assistance in these questions before we decide one way or another.
- What is the turnaround time on scoring these tests?
- How long will the Consortium provide the paper/pencil test?
- How much will the paper/pencil test cost compared to the online test?
- How will these paper/pencil tests be scored since they are not computer adaptive?
- Can we really compare results from these two tests, since one is adaptive and one is not?
A: SBAC will make a paper-and-pencil administration option for the summative assessment available to states for three years following the launch of the assessment system (through 2016-17). The paper-and-pencil option is designed to help bridge the transition to online assessments for states where access to computers for test administration remains a challenge in 2014-15.
Consistent with the proposal to the U.S. Department of Education, any additional costs with the administration of the paper-and-pencil assessment will be borne by states electing to use this option. Both turnaround time for results and administration costs depend on several as yet unknown factors, including how much hand-scoring will be necessary. For example, costs would likely be lower—and turnaround faster—if constructed-response items can reliably be converted to a digital format and scored using the automated scoring engine. SBAC will continue to keep states informed of the expected cost of the paper-and-pencil administration as the summative assessment is developed and field tested.
Regarding comparability, many states have used paper-and-pencil and online assessments side-by-side with little difference in the scaling of scores. The paper-and-pencil and Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) assessments will both adhere to the same blueprint, and we will verify the validity and comparability of the two tests during standard setting. While it is true that the CAT will assess a broader range of skills than the paper-and-pencil test, SBAC fully expects that the overall scores will be comparable.