Smarter Balanced Assessment Overview
Preparing Students for Success After High School
In schools across the country, teachers are helping students meet the challenge of the Common Core State Standards—consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level so they can graduate high school prepared for college and the workplace.
These new academic benchmarks challenge students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically, and apply what they are learning to the real world. Educators from Smarter Balanced states worked together to develop high-quality assessments that provide more accurate and meaningful information about what students are learning.
Smarter Balanced Assessments
At the end of the year, tests are administered that measure student achievement and growth in English and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and high school. Interim tests allow teachers to check student progress throughout the year.
Administered online with extended research, writing, and problem solving tasks that measure the critical thinking and problem-solving skills students need for success.
Computer adaptive format provides an individualized test for every student; questions get harder when a student answers correctly, and easier when they answer incorrectly.
Assisting English Language Learners & Students with Disabilities
Features for students with disabilities and English Language Learners so that all students can demonstrate what they know.
A Digital Library of tools for teachers to use all year—including professional development materials and instructional resources—to meet students’ individual needs.
Certificate of Academic Achievement Options
High school students not meeting standard on the reading, writing, or math state assessment may utilize one of the Certificate of Academic Achievement Options (CAA-Options) to meet the assessment graduation requirement and earn a Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA). This section includes resources related specifically to the Collection of Evidence, AP, and SAT/ACT Grade Comparison Options.
District & State Assessments
|Test||Test Description||Grades||Time Given|
|SBA||Smarter Balanced Assessment. Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. This is a computer adaptive test that measures a student's career or college readiness or progress towards being career or college ready in either ELA or math. State 2 and 4 year college and universities will use the 11th grade Smarter Balanced Assessment results for college course placement.||3-8, HS||May (school determined schedule)
HS Retakes in November
|EOC-Bio||End-of-Course Biology: This test is given to all 10th grade students / students who are finishing biology. Students in the class of 2016 and younger must pass this test (or alternative) to graduate. This test is also used for federal accountability.||10-12||March (state determined schedule)|
|EOC-Math||End-of-Course Math: Students in the class of 2017 and 2018 may use End-of-Course Algebra or End-of-Course Geometry to meet graduation requirements.||11-12||January (retakes)
June (last 3 weeks of school)
|Off-Grade Level Test||Students receiving special education services may take an assessment specific to a particular content area (Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science) at a grade level different than currently enrolled. The student must meet the established cut score for proficiency (level 3) for the grade level accessed. This test can be used to meet CIA graduation requirements.||10-12||Spring (retakes in November)|
|WA-AIM||The Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM) is an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards aligned to the Common Core State Standards for students with significant cognitive challenges.||3-8, 11||Throughout year|
|CAA-OPTION||All Washington state high school students must show they have key reading and writing skills by graduation. Most students will meet this requirement by passing a state exam. Some students with strong skills, however, may need to use an assessment to demonstrate their skills. For these students, state-approved alternatives are available, called Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) Options. These options include Collection of Evidence, GPA Comparison, and AP and College Admission Test Scores.||11-12||Throughout year|
|11-12||Seniors submit COEs in February and Juniors submit in June.|
|STAR Reading||This test is computer adaptive and is used as a district screener in reading to identify students show may need more support or additional challenge in reading. More information coming soon.||3-9||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|STAR Math||This test is computer adaptive and is used as a district screener for math to identify students who may need more support or additional challenge in math. More information coming soon.||5-9||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|DIBELS||Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills: Set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills. DIBELS were developed to measure recognized and empirically validated skills related to reading outcomes. Each measure has been thoroughly researched and demonstrated to be reliable and valid indicators of early literacy development and predictive of later reading proficiency to aid in the early identification of students who are not progressing as expected.||K-2||Fall, Winter, Spring|
|CogAT||Cognitive Ability Testing: The CogAT testing is used for placement into our Highly Capable Programs. Students that are referred for programs will take this test. The CogAT is a test of reasoning skills. It is not like a spelling test where if you know the words or the facts you can get 100%. It is a norm-referenced test with three parts: Verbal Battery, Quantitative Battery, and Non-Verbal Battery. To see more about our highly capable programs and the referral and placement process, click here.||K-9||Winter|
Each spring the District assesses student learning of the Common Core State Standards using the Smarter Balanced Assessment, developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
The Smarter Balanced Assessment is designed to test higher level thinking skills and will be given on electronic devices and/or computers. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is adaptive, meaning the test will automatically adjust its level of rigor for each question based on how each student answers the questions. Teachers will also have access to interim assessments that will be used at intervals throughout the year to check student readiness.
In addition to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, other State assessments continue to be required. Click here to learn more about the Measurement of Student Progress (MSP), High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE), and End of Course (EOC) assessments.