SMARTER BALANCED READY: Big Idea #3
Adults Learn First, Then Help Students
District staff recognized the need for parents and educators to learn about the Smarter Balanced Assessment System first so that these adults could help their students. District staff asked parents and educators what they wanted to learn about the assessment system, and they designed training sessions to address these topics, such as having parents analyze student test questions, helping teachers learn to score extended responses, and allowing teachers to explore accessibility and accommodations resources to find out which supports were the best fit for their students.
The examples below describe the results of these efforts.
San Diego Assessment Services staff created an in-person training that focused on accessibility resources, identifying supports, and entering test setting into the Test Operations Management System. Site coordinators, principals, special education staff, English learner coordinators, and English learner support teachers were encouraged to attend. In addition, they created videos of students using each support that sites could use with teachers so they would become familiar with the various accessibility resources. The Special Education Department created a separate training that was offered for special education staff that focused on the IEP and the new accommodations and other accessibility resources available for special education students. More in-depth information is available on the California Department of Education website, CAASPP in Action.
- IAB training of trainers was presented to site administrators, curriculum coaches, and digital learning coaches.
- IAB training was delivered by coaches back at sites.
- Follow-up training was provided for curriculum coaches on hand-scoring and analysis of results to be used with grade-level PLCs back at sites.
Impact on Instruction
After exploring the IABs and scoring students’ written responses, many teachers realized that they needed to shift their instruction to better align with the rigor of the CCSS. The depth of understanding that teachers were expecting wasn’t reflected in the student responses. This was particularly evident among the high-performing students.
The district continues to use IABs in 2016–17 and provides additional professional learning on the purpose of assessments, the use of performance tasks, and the use of formative assessment for teaching and learning. In the future, district assessments will incorporate brief writing and performance task IABs. More in-depth information is available on the California Department of Education website CAASPP in Action.