Smarter Balanced Assessments
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a group of states working to develop the next-generation of 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 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Connecticut is a member of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
The Smarter Balanced assessment system will give parents and students accurate information about whether students are on track to graduate high school ready for college and the workplace. It will provide teachers with data and resources to help them tailor instruction to meet student needs.
For information about the testing schedule in Norwalk, click here: 2017 Norwalk Testing Dates
Connecticut Core Standards and Smart Balanced Assessments
In June 2010, Connecticut adopted the Common Core State Standards. In Connecticut, we refer to the standards as the Connecticut Core Standards. Developed with input by teachers, parents, and education experts, they provide clear and consistent expectations in English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics of the knowledge, skills, and abilities students need to be successful beyond high school. In order to ensure students are on track for success, new assessments have been developed to measure where students are succeeding and where they need help.
The Smarter Balanced assessments replace the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) in reading, writing and mathematics. The new assessments are a key part of implementing the Connecticut Core Standards and preparing all students for success in college and careers.
The Smarter Balanced Assessments offer significant improvements over paper-based tests of the past, including new question types, and performance tasks that ask students to demonstrate an array of research, writing, and problem solving skills. Online universal tools are available for all students. Additional supports and accommodations are also available for students as needed. Depending upon the support, these determinations are made by educators who are familiar with the student’s needs or via an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.
Since the new assessments measure higher standards, the definition of grade-level performance is also more rigorous than it was with old tests. For the first few years, fewer students may meet grade-level standards. It is important to note that this does not mean that students are doing worse than previous years, but rather, that students are being assessed by more challenging academic standards than before. Results should improve as students have additional years of instruction aligned to the new standards and become better equipped to meet the challenges they present. We are committed to working with teachers and parents to provide support for all students to succeed.
You can also learn more about Smarter Balanced at http://www.smarterbalanced.org , and on the Students and Families page of the Connecticut Smarter Balanced Assessment Portal at http://ct.portal.airast.org.