Smarter Balanced

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment

    Currently, Oregon uses the OAKS(Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) standardized test to assess how well students are mastering content in key subject areas. The test has evolved over time but, primarily it measures a student’s ability to retain facts or demonstrate basic skills. Generally, it does not measure a student’s ability to do higher-level thinking such as reasoning abstractly or analyzing material.

    As we implement consistent math standards across the nation, there will no longer be a need for each state to have its own individual assessment system. A portion of federal funds has been set aside for developing new assessments that are aligned to the Common Core Standards. Oregon joins twelve other states participating in one of the two assessment consortiums: the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

    The consortium's goal is to develop assessments organized around the Common Core State Standards in Math and Language Arts.

    The new SBAC test will replace the OAKS test in 2014-15.

    The new tests:

    • Will do a better job of measuring the range of content and skills that students have mastered.
    • Will go beyond multiple-choice questions to include short-answer and math exercises that allow students to demonstrate writing and analytical skills – allowing students with varying learning styles to demonstrate what they know.
    • Will be administered online for greater accuracy in scoring and greater range in the types of questions and responses that can be asked and measured (for example, students may watch a video and then write a short analytical essay).
    • In addition to a year-end test, teachers will be able to administer interim assessments throughout the year to monitor student progress and make adjustments to instruction.
    • Accommodations for students with disabilities or who are learning English will be built into the assessments so that their progress can be accurately measured.
    • An online reporting system will provide clear, easy-to-understand data on student achievement and growth that parents, teachers and leaders can use to help students make even greater progress.

    Fall 2014 Smarter Balanced Resources: