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SBAC E-mail Update Issue 50

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) e-mail update sent out on February 4th, 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

Spring 2013 Pilot Test— Why School Participation is Important

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium pilot test, which will take place February 20–May 10, 2013, will be the first opportunity to evaluate how newly developed test items are functioning. It is critical that items are free of bias, assess growth across grades as intended, and are stable measures of achievement in the assessed subjects. To conduct this important evaluation of test items, Smarter Balanced must have data from a sufficient number of students who reflect the characteristics of students from across the entire consortium.

Two samples of schools will participate in the Smarter Balanced spring pilot test: a scientifically selected sample and a volunteer sample. Schools in the scientific sample have been selected on the basis of a predetermined set of characteristics (e.g., percent free/reduced-price lunch, percent white/non-white students) designed to match the demographics of each member state in the consortium. It is the data from schools in the scientific sample that will be used to inform item development.

A list of schools selected for the scientific sample, including participation status, can be found on the CDE Smarter Balanced Web page. Selected schools that have not already confirmed or declined their intent to participate are encouraged to confirm their intent to participate by contacting Data Recognition Corporation by phone at 800-847-3193 or by e-mail at Selected schools that have already registered and have questions about pilot test logistics should contact the American Institutes for Research by phone at 866-815-7246 or by e-mail at

The assessment for the volunteer sample, which is open to all schools in member states, will be based on sample test questions. No data will be collected from schools in the volunteer sample, but the assessment will provide schools with the opportunity to experience the basic functionality of the test administration system. Schools can register for the volunteer component of the pilot test by completing the online survey External link opens in new window or tab. .

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 CDE 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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