This was a busy year—and decade—at Smarter Balanced! We‘ll ring out the “teens” invigorated by our commitment to improving learning outcomes for students. And in June, we’ll celebrate our 10th anniversary, when states and territories banded together to develop our world-class assessment system.
In 2019, we released a suite of resources for educators and parents. Below is an overview of new releases and updates to current resources from Smarter Balanced in 2019:
• The new website Starting Smarter provides families with information to help them better understand student score reports. With this information about their child’s knowledge and skills, parents are starting smarter conversations with teachers about what they can do to support learning at home. We launched the site in California last May and added nine states and territories in the fall.
• Smarter Content Explorer is a new website for educators that increases transparency about the test, gives teachers a resource they can use to better understand how the test measures the content standards, and provides easy access to additional technical details and documents
• Smarter Balanced Reporting System is an interactive, online reporting platform that provides a range of reports on Smarter Balanced assessments. It provides clear, easy-to-understand data on student achievement and delivers intuitive and timely reports for teachers, parents, and administrators to track student progress toward college and career readiness
• Illustration Glossaries are a new designated support for mathematics to help students understand words or phrases in test questions when they may not benefit from the text-based glossaries (currently offered in English and 13 other languages) or American Sign Language videos. Illustration glossaries are available for practice tests, interim assessments, and paper-pencil assessments.
• Focused Interim Assessment Blocks are designed to measure smaller bundles of content to give teachers a better understanding of students’ knowledge and academic performance and provide teachers with precise next steps for instruction. In the fall, Smarter Balanced released 42 new Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs) focused on fewer assessment targets than most current IABs.
• Connections Playlists that align to each of the 42 new focused IABs to seamlessly connect teachers with resources so that they may identify instructional next steps to support students’ learning.
• The Instructional Supports Video Series provides a deeper look at aspects of the Smarter Balanced Assessment system from the summative test to instructional supports. This series will continue to expand in 2020.