Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) is a state-led association of educators, researchers, state and local policymakers, and community groups working to develop fair and reliable assessments for students in grades 3-8 and 11 that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which were adopted by California's Board of Education in 2010.

Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide educators and schools with information and tools to improve instruction methods and help students succeed in college and their careers--regardless of disability, language barriers, or subgroup. This assessment system involves writing at every grade, new question types, and research, writing, and problem-solving skills. The tests provide a realistic baseline for academic achievement in order to be a more accurate indicator of student progress towards college and career readiness, and to help students succeed in today's knowledge-driven global economy. 

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium provides the following:

1. The Digital Library is an online collection of Common Core resources helping teachers / collaboration by rating etc
2. Optional Interim Assessments are optional assessments that teachers can use to check student progress throughout the year. They were made available winter 2014, and can be used at any time throughout the year.
3. Year-end Summative Assessments measure student growth and achievement. They include a computer adaptive test and performance tasks that require the student to apply their knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems. These assessments will be available spring 2015.

Score reports for the end-of-year summative and optional interim comprehensive assessments will include a scale score and an achievement level for math and English. Reports will also include information for four main areas in English (reading, writing, research, and listening) and three areas in math (concepts and procedures, problem solving/modeling and data analysis, and communicating reasoning). Based on their overall scale scores in English and math, students will be assigned to one of four categories of performance, or achievement levels. 

To find out more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, please visit the website here.