- Opportunity to review Item Specifications and Guidelines
- Announcing Technology Readiness Tool Contract
- Link to the Technology Readiness Tool Webinar Recording
- Opportunity to review Item Specifications and Guidelines—Local Educational Agencies, districts, teachers, and content organizations are invited to review the drafts of the SBAC item specifications and guidelines. The feedback will be captured via a survey hosted by SurveyMonkey. Feedback is due on or before February 9. The Showcase 2 materials may be accessed at the Smarter Balanced Resources page (Outside Source) (under the SBAC 04 Showcase 2 header).
- Announcing Technology Readiness Tool contract—SBAC in collaboration with the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Consortium, has contracted with Pearson to develop a Technology Readiness Tool to support states’ planning as they transition to next-generation assessments to be launched beginning in 2014. This new open source tool assesses current capacity and compares that to the technology that will be needed to administer the new online assessments in four areas—devices, device to tester ratio, network infrastructure, and staff and personnel. The first of six data collection windows will be March 20 to May 14, 2012. The goal of the first data collection window is to collect easily accessible baseline data. Data collection will occur once each spring and fall through 2014. All states in the Consortia will be requested to use the tool to assess technology readiness during each window. The press release announcing the contract can be found at SMARTER Press Releases page (Outside Source).
- Link to the Technology Readiness Tool Webinar Recording—The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recently hosted a webinar on January 30 to provide additional information about the IT Readiness effort and answer questions. To access a recording of the webinar, please visit the webinar's cisco webex page (Outside Source).
- SMARTER Balanced is on Twitter—Follow @SmarterBalanced to get resources and links to the latest SBAC news.
- Report on engaging higher education in new assessments available—A new report from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) identifies the conditions that can help build consensus between state K-12 and postsecondary systems. It also makes recommendations for meaningful involvement by higher education in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and assessments, which will inform our efforts to engage the postsecondary field. The report is available at NCHEMS (Outside Source).
SBAC Questions/Answers of the Week (Taken from the SBAC All States Updates)
Q: How will school districts be chosen to participate in the pilot test?
A: In early 2013, a pilot test of the assessment system will be conducted in a sample of school districts to ensure technical adequacy and fairness of items and tasks to all student populations. The sampling plan for the pilot test will be developed in collaboration with member states and the contractor for RFP-19 Test Administration—expected to be selected this spring. This approach will identify schools that include a representative sample of students and have sufficient technology resources to pilot the assessments.