By Karinna Gerhardt

Next week, 11th graders will kick off a new era of standardized testing at Roosevelt with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, commonly known as the SBAC. Sophomores completed their own week of testing yesterday.

Misinformation has been flying over this controversial new test, along with a severe lack of clarity over the reasoning behind giving the SBAC to junior classes who have already met state graduation requirements with the HSPE in sophomore year. This is the first year that standardized tests will be administered to Roosevelt juniors.

On the official Smarter Balanced website, the SBAC is touted as being able to “accurately describe both student achievement and growth of student learning in English and math.” The test apparently measures success by having students solve “real world problems” on an online interface. The difficulty level shifts according to previous answers – however, it remains unclear how final scores are accurately calculated when every student experiences a different level of difficulty.

The SBAC will replace the HSPE in the years to come; beginning with the class of 2019, the SBAC will be administered only to 11th graders and the HSPE will be phased out.

Both the ELA and Math sections of the test are estimated to take three to four hours to complete – in total, 6-8 hours of testing. According to projections from their field test of 4.2 million, Smarter Balanced expects almost 70% of students who take the SBAC will fail to meet standards. That number rises to 90% for students enrolled in special education programs.

The state is requiring all districts to administer the SBAC to high school juniors; however, juniors are not required to take the test if they have have already met standards with the HSPE. To opt out, fill out the form linked below and turn it in to the counselors office before the end of the day on Friday, 4/3.

Opting out: http://smarterbalanced.www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/gwp/1583136/4928830/File/AssessmentRefusalForm%281%29.pdf?sessionid=3d6c9ddb37619ecdc6ecc975d2750495

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