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SBAC E-mail Update Issue 61

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) e-mail update sent out on July 15, 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:

Scoring Guides for Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Now Available

Scoring guides are now available for the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests in grades three through eight and grade eleven for English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics. In addition, a scoring guide is now available for each of the Braille Practice Tests, which include grades four, seven, and eleven for ELA and grades three, seven, and eleven for mathematics.

The scoring guides are available on the Smarter Balanced Practice Test Resources page External link opens in new window or tab. .The scoring guides provide answer keys to multiple-choice and short-answer questions in addition to scoring rubrics for constructed-response items. For selected-response items, the scoring guides describe the rationale for correct and incorrect answers. For constructed-response items, the scoring guides explain the criteria that must be met for each possible score point. Scoring guides for the Practice Test performance tasks are expected to be available in August.

Practice Test Notification Letter Template Now Available

The CDE has developed a letter template for local educational agencies to assist them in notifying parents and guardians of the availability of the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests. The notification template can be customized and printed on school or district letterhead. The template is available in English, Spanish, and 17 other languages on the CDE Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Web page.

Smarter Balanced "Fact vs. Fiction"

Smarter Balanced has released a Fact vs. Fiction document to address concerns and misinformation that may be encountered as the Smarter Balanced assessments gain attention from the education community and the general public. This document contains talking points that can be used to address frequently discussed topics, such as federal policy, test validity, data collection, and costs for new assessments. Fact vs. Fiction is available on the CDE Smarter Balanced Resources Web page.

Assembly Bill 484 Legislative Activity

Assembly Bill (AB) 484 was amended on July 3, 2013, and is expected to be voted on by the State Senate in August. AB 484 proposes the establishment of the California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress for the 21st Century (CalMAPP21), which would succeed the existing Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. The bill includes many of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (SSPI’s) recommendations to the Legislature for transitioning California to a future assessment system. A side-by-side comparison of each of the SSPI’s recommendations and corresponding language from the current version of AB 484 is available on the State Board of Education’s July 2013 meeting agenda Web page (select “Revised Item 5 Attachment 2”).

For specific bill language or to track the status of AB 484, visit the California Legislative Information Web site External link opens in new window or tab. .

More Information

Additional information about Smarter Balanced is available on the CDE Smarter Balanced Web page. 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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