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SBAC E-mail Update Issue 70

TSD annual Review package automatic description.

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:

Impact of Assembly Bill 484 on Individualized Education Programs in 2013–14

On November 14, the CDE Special Education Division sent a letter to California local educational agencies (LEAs) to provide information about the development and implementation of individualized education programs (IEPs) in 2013–14, given the passage of Assembly Bill 484. The new law brings significant changes to California’s statewide student assessment system. LEAs need to be aware of the changes to assessments and ensure that parents of students with disabilities are aware of how those changes impact the participation of students with disabilities. Changes to IEPs may be necessary to address the new document Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, which describes student supports available for the new assessments beginning with the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test.

The Guidelines document is available on the CDE Web page.

Questions regarding the development of IEPs in 2013–14 should be directed to the CDE Policy and Program Services Unit of the Special Education Division by phone at 916-323-2409.

Sampling Plan for spring 2014 Field Test

The spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test will collect information on English–language arts and mathematics items that are being developed for the Smarter Balanced summative and interim assessments. To address the interest expressed by a large number of California LEAs to have students take items from both content areas, the sampling plan has been modified. Ninety-five percent of all California students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will take items from both content areas. These students will take approximately 25 items from ELA, and another 25 items from math. The remaining 5 percent of students will take a single subject version in either ELA or math. Both groups will complete one performance task. The estimated field test administration time will remain approximately 3.5 hours for all participants. This sampling plan was announced to California LEAs in a November 20th letter from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

California LEA staff can direct questions about the Smarter Balanced Field Test to the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at

Technology Readiness Tool

On November 21, a joint letter from the CDE and the State Board of Education was sent to California LEAs, encouraging them to complete the Technology Readiness Tool (TRT) to determine their level of technology readiness for the Smarter Balanced computer-based assessments. LEAs have been asked to complete the TRT by December 13, 2013, to enable Smarter Balanced to take an accurate snapshot of all schools participating in the Smarter Balanced Field Test. This report will be published nationally.

Questions regarding the TRT should be directed to Jose Ortega, State Readiness Coordinator, CDE Education Technology Office, by phone at 916-323-5715 or by e-mail at

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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