Development of an Assessment System based on the Common Core State Standards for 2014 -15
Hawaii is a Governing State member of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced), one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education to develop assessments based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics beginning in the 2014 – 15 school year. To achieve the goal that all students leave high school ready for college and career, Smarter Balanced is committed to ensuring that assessment and instruction embody the CCSS and that all students, regardless of disability, language, or subgroup status, have the opportunity to learn this valued content and show what they know and can do.
With strong support from participating states, institutions of higher education, and industry, Smarter Balanced will develop a balanced set of measures and tools, each designed to serve specific purposes. Together, these components will provide student data throughout the academic year that will inform instruction, guide interventions, help target professional development, and ensure an accurate measure of each student’s progress toward career and college readiness. The core components of Smarter Balanced include summative assessments, interim assessments, and formative processes and tools.
The summative assessments are mandatory comprehensive accountability measures that include computer adaptive assessments and performance tasks, administered in the last 12 weeks of the school year in grades 3-8 and 11 for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The summative assessments will include a variety of item types—selected-response, short constructed-response, extended constructed-response, and technology-enhanced items—as well as performance tasks.
The assessments are designed to provide valid, reliable, and fair measures of students’ progress toward and attainment of the knowledge and skills required to be college and career ready. They capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing and produce composite content area scores, based on the computer-adaptive items and performance tasks.
The Smarter Balanced design includes the development of optional, computer-adaptive interim assessments that can be administered at locally determined intervals. Just like the summative assessment, these interim assessments will include a variety of item types—selected-response, short constructed-response, extended constructed-response, and technology-enhanced items—as well as performance tasks. The interim item bank will be non-secure, making it accessible for both instruction and professional development.
As part of a balanced assessment system, interim assessments can provide information throughout the year about what students know and can do in relation to the Common Core State Standards, allowing educators to adapt and make mid-course corrections.
Formative Tools and Processes
Smarter Balanced will provide resources for teachers on how to collect and use information about student success in acquisition of the CCSS. These resources may be used by teachers and students to diagnose a student’s learning needs, check for misconceptions and provide evidence of progress toward learning goals.