Designed for All Students
Accessibility is a core principle of the Smarter Balanced development process. The assessment system uses technology to deliver assessments that fit the needs of individual students. Assessment items and performance tasks will be associated with a variety of accessibility tools and accommodations that can be delivered to students automatically based on their profile.
All items and tasks will be reviewed for accessibility following the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications and Review Guidelines. Additional information about the development of items and tasks is available in a series of trainings for item writers and reviewers.
Developed with Experts
Smarter Balanced is working with educators and experts in the field to design and test the assessment system. Advisory committees on students with disabilities and English language learners include national experts in student assessment, accommodations strategies, language acquisition, and learning disabilities.
The Accessibility and Accommodations Work Group—one of 10 state-led work groups—focuses on ensuring the assessments are designed to meet the needs of special student populations. As part of the development of accessibility and accommodations policies, the Consortium commissioned research on best practices for assessing English language learners and students with disabilities.
- Literature Review of Testing Accommodations and Accessibility Tools for Students with Disabilities (PDF)
- Summary of Literature on Empirical Studies of the Validity and Effectiveness of Test Accommodations for English Language Learners: 2005–2012 (PDF)
- Translation Accommodations Framework for Testing English Language Learners in Mathematics (PDF)
- Accommodations for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities: A Research-Based Decision Algorithm (PDF)
For More Information
- Watch the Common Core State Standards and English Language Learners presentation hosted by American Federation of Teachers. The portion of the presentation led by Magda Chia, director of support for under-represented students starts at 23:40.
- Download the Accessibility and Accommodations Factsheet
- Learn more about what Smarter Balanced assessments mean for parents, students, teachers and policymakers
- Visit our frequently asked questions page
- Sign up to Stay Connected with Smarter Balanced and receive updates
- Contact us with questions or comments