By adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), more than 40 states have established clear, consistent expectations for the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in college and the workplace. To help students meet these goals, teachers need new ways to monitor student progress and better tools to meet their unique needs. Smarter Balanced is working with K-12 teachers, administrators, and state policymakers to develop and test a balanced system of assessments that will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year.
The Smarter Balanced approach includes a number of differences from most state assessments today.
- These assessments will be administered online and will go beyond multiple choice questions to include performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate research, writing, and analytical skills.
- In addition to a year-end test, teachers will be able to administer interim assessments throughout the school year to monitor student progress and make adjustments to instruction.
- Accommodations for students with disabilities and English language learners will be built into the system so that the progress of students can be accurately measured.
- An online reporting system will provide clear, easy-to-understand data on student achievement and growth. In the 2014-2015 school year, states can use these Smarter Balanced template reports to present parents, teachers, principals, and other local and state leaders with information they can use to help students make even greater progress.