Common Core & Smarter Balanced

Smarter Balanced Information
Posted on 01/02/2018
SBAC InformationWhat are Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?

Today’s students are preparing to enter a world in which colleges and businesses are demanding more than ever before. To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country and are designed to ensure students are prepared for today’s entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs. The Common Core focuses on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful. Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the standards.

The new standards also provide a way for teachers to measure student progress throughout the school year and ensure that students are on the pathway to success in their academic careers.

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What is Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)?

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a system of assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts/literacy and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11. The system—which includes both summative assessments for accountability purposes and optional interim assessments for instructional use, use computer adaptive testing technologies to provide feedback and data that teachers and other educators can use to help students succeed.

Smarter Balanced assessments go beyond multiple-choice questions to include extended response and technology enhanced items, as well as performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Performance tasks challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to complex real-world problems. They can best be described as collections of questions and activities that are coherently connected to a single theme or scenario. These activities measure capacities such as depth of understanding, writing and research skills, and complex analysis. 

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Information on Smarter Balanced testing