Smarter Balanced Assessments

  • Preliminary Release of Smarter Balanced Assessment Scores


    Look for Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Scores on May 24, 2017!
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    What is the difference between preliminary scores and official scores? Although it is very rare and highly unlikely, preliminary scores could change. This can happen if it is determined that a question is invalid or if it is discovered that a scorer made an error. Again, this is very rare and we do not expect any scores to change. Official scores are final and will not change. They also have more detailed data.
    Why not wait until they are official? Assessment scores should be used to guide the learning experiences of our students. These scores, along with classroom assessments, can be useful in identifying students who could benefit from summer school or guide course selection for the fall. We want parents, students and staff to have the preliminary scores before school is out for the summer. Schools will be open and teachers will still be at schools if you have questions. When you get your student’s scores, he or she will be in class with a teacher who knows them well and can help you understand the scores. We are cautiously optimistic that high school results will be released before June 22.
    When will I see my student’s official scores? When scores are finalized this summer, they will be available in Home Access Center and you will receive a hard copy in September.
    What will I see and what will it mean? For English Language Arts (ELA) and for math you will see a scale score, achievement level, met or not met SBA standard achievement level, and claims level. The scale scores are shown below by grade level. The scale score tells your student’s current level of achievement. Smarter Balanced Assessments are vertically scaled so it is easy to see your child’s growth over time.
    Each score falls into an achievement level numbered 1-4. Students at levels 1 and 2 are below standard for their grade level and students at levels 3-4 are above standard for their grade level. Students at levels 3 and 4 are considered to have met standard at their grade level. Finally, you will see claim level data. A claim is a broad learning outcome within each test. In ELA the claims are Reading, Writing, Research and Inquiry, and Listening and Speaking. In math the claims are Concepts and Procedures, Problem Solving, Communicating Reasoning, Modeling and Data Analysis. Your student has a descriptor for each claim of Below, At or Near, or Above Standard. It is very easy to understand being Below Standard or Above Standard, but At or Near Standard can be confusing. Because each claim is comprised of many learning targets, it is not possible to delineate between students who are at standard or nearly at standard. The test would have to be much longer to test each learning target to that level.
    High School College and Career Level versus graduation requirement.
    Students meet their assessment graduation requirements by passing SBA at the Washington minimum graduation score, ELA 2548 and Math 2595. However, the accountability requirement for grade 11 is the college and career readiness cut score at level three. In order to qualify for college level coursework in Washington state without further testing, students must meet the college and career readiness cut score.


    Smarter Balanced Assessment
    Scale Score Ranges for Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 
    SBA Scale Scores


    Smarter Balanced Assessment

    In the spring of 2018, Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) will be administered to students in grades 3-8, 10 and 11 in math and English Language Arts (ELA) for the fourth year. As a result of shifting to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Washington state mandated that all school districts implement SBA starting in 2014-15. 

    Students in the classes of 2017 and 2018 will fulfill their state assessment graduation requirements by passing the SBA in ELA at the graduation cut score level and one math exit exam or the SBA in math at the graduation cut score level. Students in the class of 2019 will be required to pass the SBA in ELA and math at the graduation cut score level to fulfill their state assessment graduation requirements.
    • SBA are aligned to the ELA and math CCSS.
    • The ELA SBA evaluates students' learning in four claim areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking, and research.
    • The math SBA evaluates students' learning in three claim areas: concepts and procedures, problem solving and modeling & data analysis, and communicating reasoning.
    • SBA include two different types of tests: Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and Performance Tasks (PT) with a classroom activity.
      1. CAT is an online testing method. Questions appear based on whether or not a student answers the previous question correctly or incorrectly. This gives a more accurate measure of each student's performance level.
      2. PT are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness. Performance tasks will be used to better measure capacities such as depth of understanding, research skills and complex analysis. 
    • Smarter Balanced Assessments are administered online.

    When will students be taking these exams? 

    The state of Washington establishes a testing window in the spring. Our district testing schedule is designed to make the best use of student instructional time and use resources efficiently. The daily testing schedule will be posted on the assessment calendar

    How are we preparing students?

    The district has been actively implementing the Common Core State Standards since 2012-13. Curriculum specialists and teachers continue to develop lessons and assessments aligned to the state standards and use them in classrooms. You can learn more about the Washington State Learning Standards at ReadyWA.

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