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Friday, August 12, 2011

SMARTER Balanced Releases Draft Content Specifications for ELA & Math

Input sought on framework for next-generation assessments

OLYMPIA, Wash — August 9, 2011 – The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium today released draft content specifications in English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) for public comment and review. Based on the Common Core State Standards, the content specifications provide a framework for the development of the SMARTER Balanced assessment system.

“These specifications are an important step toward ensuring that the SMARTER Balanced assessment system accurately measures student achievement across the full range of college- and career-ready skills included in the Common Core State Standards,” said Joe Willhoft, executive director of SMARTER Balanced. “We welcome feedback in order to create a strong foundation for a system of summative and interim assessments and formative resources for teachers.”

SMARTER Balanced is a national consortium of states working collaboratively toward the goal of preparing all students for college and careers by creating a comprehensive assessment system for math and English language arts that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Consistent with the Consortium’s transparent and collaborative approach, member states, organizations and interested stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the ELA/literacy content specifications through August 29. The content specifications, feedback surveys and a recorded Webinar on evidence-based design are available on the Consortium’s Website at: http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/Resources.aspx. Look in the blue box on the right side of the page for these links.

During the next two months, the Consortium will make both the ELA/literacy and mathematics content specifications available for two rounds of public comment and review. Key dates for the review of the draft content specifications include:

  • August 9: ELA/literacy content specifications released (round 1)
  • August 22: Mathematics content specifications released (round 1)
  • August 29: Feedback due on ELA/literacy (round 1)
  • September 12: Feedback due on mathematics (round 1)
  • September 19: ELA/literacy content specifications released (round 2)
  • September 26: Feedback due on ELA/literacy (round 2)
  • October 3: Final ELA/literacy content specifications released; Mathematics content specifications released (round 2)
  • October 10: Feedback due on mathematics (round 2)
  • October 17: Final mathematics content specifications released

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, the Consortium’s senior research advisor and professor of education at the Stanford University School of Education, led the development of the content specifications in collaboration with Karin Hess, senior associate with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment. The SMARTER Balanced technical advisory committee, Consortium work groups and the lead authors of the Common Core State Standards also contributed to the draft.

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