Not the same test for all students in the same class? Customized to each student? How can that be equitable and results comparable?
To be ready for college and careers, students need to apply their knowledge and skills in areas such as critical-thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving. Smarter Balanced assessments have been specifically developed to measure these real-world skills that students will need when they graduate.
Each student will experience a unique set of questions based on how they perform. The test contains a large bank of questions addressing skills tied to the Common Core Standards for the grade level.
The tests begin with a question of medium difficulty for that grade level. If a student responds correctly, the computer will adapt the test and present a more difficult question. Additional correct responses means the test will become harder and harder. If a student performs poorly on a question, the test will adapt and provide a simpler question.
In the end, this type of testing provides a more complete picture of which skills an individual student has mastered. Moving far beyond simply memorizing facts and figures, the new standards challenge students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically, and apply what they are learning in real-world contexts. The new assessments push students to apply these skills in a variety of ways. Each question is placed on a scale of difficulty. A student who answers many challenging questions correctly will receive a higher score than a student who answers easier questions correctly.
Every student is unique and learns differently, but all students need to master a basic set of skills and knowledge to be successful in the real world. These assessments are designed to measure students’ mastery of those skills, so more children graduate ready for college and career. Parents should be able to know whether or not their children have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed
Because they are adaptive to individual students, Smarter Balanced assessments provide an academic checkup for all students and help teachers and parents know whether their individual students are on track to be college and career ready each step of the way.
Further information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment including family resources and practice tests: http://www.k12.wa.us/smarter/default.aspx . Additional resources include: http://www.readywa.org/ ; http://www.smarterbalanced.org/
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