Smarter Balanced Assessments 13

Ambitious agenda, but can they deliver?

The Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, & Student Testing has released a report about the Smarter Balanced and PARCC Assessment Consortia.

The report evaluates and compares the work of both consortia, which was of some interest to me as I have not spent any time examining the work of the PARCC Assessment Consortia.  While the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia has been working on computer-adaptive testing (offering different questions based on whether the student correctly answers previous questions or not), PARCC is planning to “use standard, fixed test forms.” (page 5)

I think the authors’ conclusion is that the planned assessments intend (and so far are on track) to better represent deeper learning than current state assessments.  “However, at this early stage of test development, key questions remain about how well these intentions be realized.” (page 18)

Some identified challenges:

  • Objections to the cost and the amount of time needed to administer performance task items, which would measure deeper learning goals.
  • Automated scoring of constructed response and performance task items will need to be developed to keep administration costs at the estimated $19.81 (for Smarter Balanced summative assessment) and for the results to be delivered two weeks after the end of the testing window.

I still question the rush to adopt the Smarter Balanced Assessments.  They apparently look promising, but it is too soon to tell what will be delivered and at what price.

HT: Education Week