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Sunday, September 29, 2013

SBAC launches Spanish webpage

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) has launched a Spanish webpage with downloadable factsheets for teachers, parents, and students. The webpage provides information on the assessment system and the Consortium’s work to meet the needs of all students, including English language learners (ELLs).
“Making Spanish-language materials available is part of our commitment to keeping stakeholders informed about our progress,” said Joe Willhoft, Ph.D., executive director of Smarter Balanced. “With a growing number of English language learners across the United States, it is important that teachers, parents, and students have access to resources to help prepare for next-generation assessments.”
The Smarter Balanced Assessment System will provide valid, fair, and reliable measures of student achievement and growth toward college and career readiness for ELLs. In collaboration with member states, educators, and experts, the Consortium is developing an Accessibility and Accommodations Framework. Grounded in current research and a deep understanding of the current diversity of accessibility policies and practices across state and national assessment systems, the Framework provides the conceptual underpinning for accessibility approaches, accessibility tools and accommodation options, and implementation guidance for the assessment system.
“Smarter Balanced assessments are designed with the needs of English language learners in mind,” said Magda Chia, Ph.D., director of support for under-represented students. “Through accommodations like pop-up glossaries for the mathematics assessment and a research-based approach to developing assessment items that reduces linguistic burdens, the Consortium is working to ensure that all students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.”

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Partnering with parents for student success

Partnering with Parents Too often when a student struggles with mathematics, a parent comments, “I was never very good at math either.” While that may be true, the need for our students to be successful in mathematics is more urgent than at any time in recent history. In this era of focus on college, career, and life readiness, engaging parents is critical to the success of students from prekindergarten through high school. Read more from Linda Gojak, NCTM president...