ICYMI: Smarter Balanced Releases Its ‘Stress Test’ Report

In case you missed it, Smarter Balanced recently released its recap of the consortium’s spring field test. The odds were against Smarter Balanced—“stress testing” a new assessment with more than 4.2 million students across 20 states, with the nation watching—and some people rooting for failure. And did I mention it was all on computers for the first time? To me, the clearest indicator of success of the field test was the lack of noise. To my knowledge, there wasn’t a groundswell of concern from students or teachers about the experience. In fact, many students even found the test enjoyable and refreshing. But Smarter Balanced took a slightly more data-driven approach to its analysis of the field test: the report outlines feedback, successes and ongoing challenges from a subset of states, educators and students. Unlike the recent Center on Education Policy poll that assessed district leadership perception of the new test while they were in the middle of the field test, this report provides a timely “hindsight is 20-20” perspective that is worth a quick look.
Ann Whalen
Ann Whalen is senior advisor to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Prior to returning to the U.S. Department of Education, she served as the director of policy for Education Post. Whalen has served more than five years in the Obama Administration with the U.S. Department of Education. At the department, Ann was director of the Implementation and Support Unit, providing technical assistance to ...

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