Smarter Balanced Assessments 7

How much standardized testing is enough?

Education Week is reporting that SBAC will offer the option of shorter or longer versions of the planned Smarter Balanced Assessments.  For 3-5 grades, the shorter version will be about 6.5 hours (instead of about 10.5 hours).  For 6-8 grades, the shorter version will be about seven hours (instead of about eleven hours).  For high school, the shorter version will be eight hours (instead of about thirteen hours).

Presumably this is just the amount of time for administering the summative assessment and does not include time for test preparation (how to use the testing software, how to approach performance tasks) or the optional interim assessments.

I confess that I haven’t got any idea how much time Iowa students currently spend taking standardized tests, but I don’t recall standardized exams taking more than a few hours per year when I was in elementary and junior high school.  In fact, I don’t recall ever sitting for a multi-day standardized test until the Iowa Bar Exam.

It is hard to imagine that this much standardized testing is necessary or desirable.

HT: Joanne Jacobs.

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5 thoughts on “Smarter Balanced Assessments 7

    1. Karen W Post author

      Matt–Thanks for the link. Looks like adoption of the long version of the summative Smarter Balanced Assessments would require roughly twice as much time to administer for grades 3-8?

      1. Matt Townsley

        If EdWeek is reporting correctly, it looks like that’s a safe bet.

        Another note: don’t quote me on it, but I think the ACT (English, Math, Reading, Science) is a three hour test.

    1. Karen W Post author

      Good point! I think SBAC envisions the test being so great that it will be worth “teaching to it” every hour of the school year. I’m skeptical about that. I think you and I would probably agree that it would be better to rethink the idea of top down, high stakes standardized testing driven accountability rather than try to create a better high stakes test.

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