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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Four Smarter Balanced Updates

There are four updates to share

  • Release of Preliminary Test Blueprints
  • Network Bandwidth Checker Available for Schools
  • Review Period for Feedback on Draft Initial Achievement Level Descriptors and Overview Webinar
  • Pilot Test Participation Update

Release of Preliminary Test Blueprints
The Smarter Balanced Governing States have approved the preliminary test blueprints describing the content of English–language arts/literacy and mathematics summative assessments for grades three through eight and high school. The preliminary test blueprints reflect the depth and breadth of the performance expectations of the Common Core State Standards and how that content will be assessed. The full document is available. 

Network Bandwidth Checker Available for Schools
Smarter Balanced has launched an online tool to help schools check the bandwidth of their network in preparation for the assessments. The bandwidth checker is compatible with Mozilla Firefox on computers with Windows, OS X, or Linux operating systems; Safari on tablets using the iOS operating system; and Chrome on tablets using the Android operating system. The bandwidth checker cannot be accessed using Internet Explorer. The bandwidth checker and instructions are now available.

Review Period for Feedback on Draft Initial Achievement Level Descriptors and Overview Webinar
The public comment period for the Smarter Balanced draft achievement level descriptors runs through January 15, 2013. The draft achievement leveldescriptors and online survey for providing feedback are available. Smarter Balanced hosted a public webinar on December 17 to provide an overview of achievement level descriptors. A recording of thispublic webinar is available.
Selection of Schools for the Pilot Test
Smarter Balanced has identified schools for the scientific component of the spring 2013 pilot test. The scientific component will target a representative sample of schools to yield critical data about the items developed to date as well as how the test administration system is functioning. These schools were contacted by Smarter Balance on December 4.

All schools in Smarter Balanced states can participate in the pilot test by registering for the volunteer component of the pilot test. Participation in the volunteer component will allow schools to administer a version of the assessment with released test questions and will ensure that all schools have the opportunity to experience the basic functionality of the test administration system.

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