Smarter Balanced Awards Contract to Develop Formative Assessment Tools for Educators

OLYMPIA, Wash. – March 13, 2013 – The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) announced the award of a contract to develop a Digital Library of formative assessment practices and professional learning resources for educators. Amplify Insight, formerly known as Wireless Generation, will work with Consortium member states and teachers to create professional development materials and instructional resources aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced assessment system.


Formative assessment is a critical component of the Smarter Balanced assessment system, which also includes a year-end summative assessment and interim assessments that can be used to monitor student progress throughout the year. Through an online Digital Library, teachers will have access to classroom-based, formative assessment strategies and practices that enhance day-to-day instruction. Also included will be resources to interpret and make use of the data and reports from the Smarter Balanced summative and interim assessments.


“Smarter Balanced is committed to providing resources and tools to help teachers become more effective in their real-time, classroom-based assessment activities to measure student acquisition of the Common Core State Standards,” said Joe Willhoft, Ph.D., executive director of Smarter Balanced. “Just as important, we believe that educators must be involved from the beginning to identify and vet formative assessment resources to ensure they meet the needs of classroom teachers.”


Amplify Insight will develop the technology platform for the Digital Library, inventory and create professional learning resources, develop instructional modules, and oversee educator engagement. In collaboration with member states, the contractor will convene state leadership teams charged with recruiting an average of a hundred educators from each Governing State to form state networks of educators. These educator teams will provide feedback on the development of formative assessment resources and professional learning tools created by the Consortium and submit additional resources for classroom use. The development of the formative assessment and professional learning resources will be guided by quality criteria established by an advisory panel with expertise in formative assessment practices, adult online professional learning, and quality instruction incorporating universal design for a range of diverse learners.


Amplify Insight was awarded this contract, valued at approximately $12.5 million, following a competitive procurement process overseen by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. An evaluation committee composed of representatives from Smarter Balanced Governing States reviewed and scored the proposals. More information on the Consortium’s procurement process—including the formative assessment RFP and the winning proposal—is available at:



About Smarter Balanced
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium brings together states to create a common, innovative assessment system for mathematics and English language arts/literacy that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and helps prepare students for college and careers. The Consortium involves educators, researchers, policymakers, and community groups in a transparent and consensus-driven process to help all students thrive in a knowledge-driven global economy. The Consortium’s projects are funded through a four-year, $175 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, comprising 99 percent of activity resources, with the remaining support provided through generous contributions of charitable foundations. Membership is open to any interested U.S. state. For more information, please visit

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