The State Department of Education officials were invited by the House Education Committee on Monday to provide lawmakers with more information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) that is responsible for building the test all students in grades 3-11 will be expected to take, beginning next year.
Idaho is one of twenty-three states that belong to the SBAC. This state-led consortium is working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. Smarter Balanced is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Idaho Core Standards by the 2014-15 school year.
SDE staff likened this spring’s field test to a “dress rehearsal” without severe consequences. The field test is designed to determine whether the questions being asked are the right questions or not. Districts will also be helping to determine whether the testing window will need to be extended to ensure all students can complete the tests. Lawmakers learned that if any school district believes the testing window is currently too short, they need only make a request and they can get the window extended.
Superintendent Luna has appointed six superintendents, six building principals, and three testing coordinators from throughout the state to serve as members of his newly created testing advisory committee. He will be working closely with this panel to gather feedback before, during, and after the field test that will inform testing decisions moving forward.