Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

AAV of Item 3 Attachment 3

Accessible Alternative Version (AAV) of Item 3 Attachment 3 for the May 2013 SBE Meeting Agenda.

This page is the Accessible Alternative Version (AAV) of Item 3 Attachment 3 from the California State Board of Education (SBE) Meeting Agenda for May 2013. The original Item 3 Attachment 3 (PDF) version which also includes graphics is considered to be the official version of the document.


Assessment Transition presentation slides for the California State Board of Education Meeting on May 8, 2013 by Deborah Sigman, Deputy Superintendent District, School & Innovation Branch of the California Department of Education.

Slide 1

Assessment Transition

Presentation to the State Board of Education, May 8, 2013.

Deborah V.H. Sigman,
Deputy Superintendent District, School & Innovation Branch
California Department of Education

Slide 2

California has a clear and inspiring vision for public education, focused on great instruction and grounded in the Common Core State Standards

California’s vision for career and college readiness
  • High quality teaching and learning in every classroom, where assessments guide planning and progress in the classroom for great instruction
  • Built on the Common Core State Standards, which bring California’sstandards up to date and from good to great
  • And reinforced by practical supports for teachers that give them the information and the tools to meet students where they are and help them to learn more
  • So that we can help more students who are already proficient reach the next level and help students who are not close the gap
  • …with the goal of ensuring that all students, regardless of where they are from or where they live, graduate prepared for college andcareers in the global economy of the 21st century

Slide 3

The new vision is generating a lot of excitement…

81% of California teachers surveyed are excited about CCSS and Smarter Balanced1

“I'm very excited about the new assessments, especially because they are so reflective of how I teach. For the first time in a state assessment, my students will be asked to interact with information, moving things around, highlighting things, manipulating data, just as they do when I’m teaching them ...

In the past, I found there was a disconnect between what they learned in class and what they were asked to do or know on the test. I would often have to stop high quality teaching and try to explain how they would be asked about this on the test. Really, only about 50% of the test looked like the kinds of work students did in my classroom."

–Rebecca Mieliwocki, 2012 California and National Teacher of the Year

More than 11,000 employers who collectively provide more than 3 million California jobs support Smarter Balanced2

“It is crucial that our students demonstrate their mastery of core academic content by thinking critically to solve complex problems and working collaboratively. Our future workforce must be able and motivated to…continue to develop and produce results for their future employers.”

– CA’s 20 business and economic development entities, joint letter

"[We] believe that the adoption of a new accountability system that assesses whether …education [institutions] are creating an engaging learning environment and preparing students with 21st Century and Deeper Learning skills …is critical to producing a globally competitive workforce."

–National Metropolitan Business Alliance

Slide 4

QUALITY, Education has never been stagnant; the Common Core and Smarter Balanced are part of the normal, important progression

Stair-step graphic with three steps showing a progressing from 1970s and 1980s to 1990s and 2000s to now.

The first step for 1970s and 1980s is labeled: “Minimum competency”. Ensure all HS graduates can demonstrate “minimum competency”. A comment at the beginning of the step is as follows: “Not a movement but a power struggle” Rand Corporation Scientist, 1979. A comment at the end of the step is as follows: “Results show we look good, and we're going to get better.” Superintendent Bernand, San Marcos, 1987.

The second step for 1990s and 2000s is labeled: “Proficiency”. Boost every child to proficiency in reading and math and start gathering the data to understand student progress. A comment at the beginning of the step is as follows: “De-professionalizes teaching and stifles creativity in the classroom” Union-Tribune San Diego, 2007. A comment at the end of the step is as follows: “APIs over 800 [are] reflective of great schools with passionate teachers and focused administrators – and families who send us great kids.“ Guy Romero, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services with Murrieta Schools.

The third step for Now is labeled: “College and career readiness”. Measures individual student progress to ensure students have complex problem-solving skills for career and college readiness. A comment at the beginning of the step is as follows: “…the standards are designed to get students to think on their own, to be able to navigate the multimedia world and discern fact from fiction…” In Our Opinion, Ukiah Daily Journal. A comment at the end of the step is as follows: “I find we're very excited, our kids are ready for the transition. It's going to be a challenge, but it's exactly what our kids need to prepare for college and go out in the work-place.” Deputy Superintendent Dominguez, Long Beach Unified District, 2012.

At each inflection point people have been nervous, but each time it has been the right thing to move forward

Source: (1) ASCD Journal, 1979 [http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_197905_newman.pdf] External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF); (2) Griffin, Vern. “Tests show San Marcos on upgrade | Results please school district.” San Diego Union-Tribune. 22 September 1987; (3) The Californian. “NCLB law panned in UCR study.” San Diego Union-Tribune. 3 April, 2009. (4) Kabbany, Jennifer. “Temecula, Murrieta districts post top county test scores.” San Diego Union-Tribune. 1 September 2006; (5) Staff. “In Our Opinion – New Standards Apply to Everyone”. Ukiah Daily Journal. 20 April, 2013. (6) Puente, Kelly. “Long Beach district to phase in Common Core over 3-year period.” Press Telegram Long Beach. 4 August, 2012.

Slide 5

We are in the midst of our journey towards Common Core implementation

Timeline graphic with a line graph progression from 1997 through 2016 and beyond.

  • Early 1997: California develops rigorous set of academic content standards.
  • Early 2001: California aligns assessments to standards.
  • Midway through 2010: Adoption of Common Core State Standards authorized through SB15X legislation.
  • Early 2011: Superintendent Torlakson begins outreach to develop recommendations for new assessment system required by AB250 (March 2012).
  • Midway through 2011: California joins Smarter Balanced as a governing state.
  • Early 2012: CDE releases Common Core implementation plan.
  • Early 2012, early 2013 (highlighted as being the present or “today”:, and late 2013: California getting ready for a next generation, world-class assessment system:
    • Recommending bridge materials.
    • Developing new curriculum frameworks.
    • Building new professional development modules.
    • Adopting new instructional materials.
  • Late 2012: Pilot test for Smarter Balanced summative.
  • Early 2013: “Transitioning to a New Assessment System” report released by Supt. Torlakson.
  • Late 2013: Field test for Smarter Balanced summative.
  • Midway through 2014: STAR sunsets (July 2014).
  • Late 2014: Smarter Balanced to be launched, Common Core State Standards measured and modeled in every California classroom.
  • Early 2015: Standards of proficiency established to signal college and career readiness.
  • 2016 and beyond: Full implementation and beyond…

Slide 6

Common Core State Standards bring more breadth and depth by emphasizing the full range of thinking skills

An image of a concentric organization chart separated into four main sections with a nucleus and an inner circle. The nucleus of the circle is labeled, Describe, Explain, and Interpret.

In the first section, the outer part is labeled: Define, Recall, and Match. Sub labels for this section include: draw, identify, list, memorize, illustrate, measure, name, use, recognize, tabulate, repeat, arrange, calculate, who, what, when, where, and why. The inner part of the section is labeled as follows: Level One (Recall). An example is given as follows: e.g., Perform routine procedures like measuring length or using punctuation marks.

In the next section, the outer part is labeled: Infer, Predict, and Estimate. Sub labels for this section include: Categorize, organize modify, interpret, summarize, show, compare, relate, cause/effect, classify, and graph. The inner part of the section is labeled as follows: Level Two: (Skill/Concept). An example is given as follows: e.g., Identify and summarize the major events in a narrative.

In the next section, the outer part is labeled: Develop a logical argument, critique, investigate, and explain. Sub labels for this section include: Assess, construct, compare, differentiate, hypothesize, formulate, appraise, revise, use concepts to solve non-routine problems, and draw conclusions. The inner part of the section is labeled as follows: Level Three (strategic thinking). An example is given as follows: e.g., Conduct a project that requires specifying a problem, designing and conducting an experiment, analyzing its data, and reporting results/solutions.

In the next section, the outer part is labeled: Design, Synthesize, and Prove. Sub labels for this section include: Connect, apply concepts, critique, analyze, and create. The inner part of the section is labeled as follows: Level Four (Extended Thinking). An example is given as follows: e.g., Support ideas with details and examples, design investigations.

Source: Webb, Norman L. and others, “Web Alignment Tool” 24 July 2005. Wisconsin Center of Educational Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2 Feb 2006

Slide 7

“Not just another test”…Smarter Balanced is critical to helping California achieve its vision

  1. Prepares California’s students for a changing world
    Assessments model instruction and prepare the new economy
  2. Supports teachers with practical suite of resources
    Tools information are integrated promote inform great teaching
  3. Connects learning life after high school – career or college
    Aligned curricula employer expectations
  4. Provides meaningful guide student growth
    Actionable timely data teachers, parents, and students
  5. Keeps educators in driver’s seat
    State Educators, researchers, policy makers helped build Smarter Balanced

Slide 8

The main pieces of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System
  • Summative assessments Longitudinal measures benchmarked to college and career readiness
    • End of year assessment of student learning, consisting of computer adaptive tests and computer administered performance tasks aligned with Common Core; assesses annual progress
  • Interim assessments Flexible, open, used for actionable feedback
    • Optional assessments, administered at locally determined intervals to provide educators with actionable information about student progress throughout the year; will be computer adaptive and include performance tasks
  • Teacher resources for formative tools – practices to improve instruction
    • Professional development materials, teaching resources for differentiated instruction and an item bank for developing and aligning assessments to Common Core and Smarter Balanced claims and assessment targets
  • Teachers, schools, and districts have access to high quality and highly accurate student data and teaching resources , through the digital library throughout the year and across years to improve teaching and learning

Slide 9

Side by side comparison of summative items
Sample Smarter Balanced item:

Jared is testing how much weight a bag can hold. He plans to put juice bottles into three bags. He wants each bag to have a total weight within the given range.

  • Drag juice bottles into each bag so that the weight is within the given range.
  • Leave the bag empty if the given range is not possible using juice bottles.
Given Images:
  • Picture of a Juice Bottle weighing 3 5/8 lbs.
  • Picture of three grocery bags. The first weighs between 6 lb and 7 lb; the second weighs between 10 lb and 11 lb; and the third grocery bag weighs between 14 lb and 15 lb.

Answer: The correct answer shows the first bag as empty; the second bag with three juice bottles; and the third grocery bag with four juice bottles.

Sample STAR Item

The total length of a vehicle is 205.83 inches. What is the length of the vehicle rounded to the nearest whole number?

  • A. 200 inches
  • B. 205 inches
  • C. 206 inches
  • D. 210 inches

Answer: The correct answer displays C with gray background.

Note: “Summative assessment” is an assessment of learning at the end of a unit, term, or school year Source: STARsamplequestions.org, Number Sense-Decimals, Fractions, and Negative Numbers (Performance Level: Advanced)–Q2, Sample Items; SmarterBalanced.org, Mathematics #43328– Fractions


1CCSS survey, November 2012

2Regional Economic Association Leaders of California (R.E.A.L.) public letter of Support for Performance and Deeper Learning, July 2012

Questions: State Board of Education | sbe@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0827 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 11, 2017