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Nevada First Smarter Balanced State to Meet Federal Peer Review

chris.barron News, Press Releases

Nevada became the first Smarter Balanced member state to meet all federal peer review requirements for the Smarter Balanced grades 3-8 math and ELA/literacy assessments, the Nevada State Department of Education announced Thursday, August 2.

Nevada Ready logoNevada’s peer review letter from the United States Department of Education (USED) serves as a notification that Smarter Balanced meets all of the statutory and regulatory USED peer review requirements for the general assessments in math and Reading/Language Arts for grades 3-8. This designation is additional validation that the Smarter Balanced summative assessments for grades 3-8 math and ELA/literacy provide accurate information regarding students’ college and career readiness and is accessible to all students in support of equity.

“The peer review process began in Fall 2015 and required an enormous amount of work by Smarter Balanced staff, the Smarter Balanced members who served as advisors, and external experts who worked together to document the evidence submitted for peer review,” Smarter Balanced Executive Director Tony Alpert said. “In addition, Consortium members worked extremely hard to develop their own evidence, while also participating in numerous reviews of the Smarter Balanced evidence. We extend our appreciation to all of our members for their dedication and support.

“And we congratulate State Superintendent Stephen Canavero and his staff for all of their hard work!”

See Education Week’s story on of Nevada meeting federal peer review requirements.

Nevada’s press release is below and can be accessed at by clicking here:

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada is the first state to receive word that its Smarter Balanced assessment meets all of the statutory and regulatory U.S. Department of Education peer review requirements in math and English reading/language arts (ELA) for grades three through eight.

“This peer review tells us that our Smarter Balanced assessment is meeting the needs of our students by providing meaningful tools that help students achieve their potential,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This positive peer review is another strong indicator that our public education system in Nevada is the fastest improving in the nation.”

This designation is validation that the Smarter Balanced summative assessments for grades 3-8 math and ELA/literacy provide accurate information regarding students’ college and career readiness and is accessible to all students.

While working with Smarter Balanced staff and consortium members was an important part of the process, Peter Zutz, Nevada’s Assessment, Data and Accountability Management Administrator, said Nevada’s vendor, Data Recognition Corporation, also played an important role.

“While the U.S. Department of Education requested specific items from us, strong collaboration with our vendor has been critical to our success,” Zutz said.

Smarter Balanced Executive Director Tony Alpert said: “State Superintendent Canavero and his staff deserve congratulations for this achievement. This is an affirmation of the work that started over eight years ago among a group of states that banded together to build the highest quality, most accessible assessment system in the nation.”