Educators share big ideas for implementing Smarter Balanced

Two More “Big Ideas” to Help Educators Get Smarter Balanced Ready

bpwalker News

Last year, we released a new resource—Smarter Balanced Ready: Big Ideas for Implementation—to share lessons learned from educators working to implement the assessment system in their districts and schools. Over the past year, we’ve captured even more stories of educators’ best practices in implementation and organized them into two new big ideas.

Big Idea #7: Transform Classroom Learning by Embracing Instructional Shifts

With more rigorous standards, educators can work toward increasing student performance through deliberate shifts in instruction. We looked at five districts with student performance gains on 2017 math summative assessments and found these themes:

  • Districts implement policy with a purpose.
  • Districts respond to changes in curriculum and observed data trends.
  • Districts maximize peer leadership.

These districts demonstrated effective responses to rigorous college- and career-ready math standards and successfully helped students learn math in a new way. Read more about what they did through the link below.

Go to Big Idea #7

Big Idea #8: Accessibility Resources Let All Students Demonstrate Their Knowledge

With improved interim assessments and updates to the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, we wanted to know how educators appropriately select and determine accessibility resources for students and how educators have transitioned students who are blind or visually impaired to online testing. Teachers from California, Connecticut, and Idaho shared their stories of improvements in student performance with the help of improved accessibility resources. Here are the themes we found:

Accessibility Supports Help Students Show What They Know

  • Students use technology devices with accessibility resources in daily learning.
  • Accessibility resources have made a real difference.
  • Teachers and parents collaborate to plan accessibility supports.
  • District plays key role in providing professional learning support.
  • Students need practice using accessibility resources.

Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Enjoy Online Testing

  • Digital learning in the classroom prompts the transition to online testing.
  • Grant funds high-speed braille embossers and software.
  • Students say online testing is fun!
  • New equipment means new opportunities for “just in time” learning

Check out these educators’ stories at the link below!

Go to Big Idea #8


Spread the word! Share this promotional flier (PDF) about Smarter Balanced Ready with your colleagues!