Smarter Balanced Assessments 20

Search terms indicate that there is interest in, or perhaps confusion about, when Iowa will adopt the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Iowa has not adopted the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Division II of SF2284 (2012’s education reform bill) established the Iowa Assessments as the statewide assessments for Iowa.  The state board may submit recommendations for modifying the assessment, but legislative action is required to adopt the Smarter Balanced Assessments.  [SF2284 is found in Chapter 1119 of the 2012 Acts and Joint Resolutions, which begins on page 434.  Division II of SF2284 is on page 435.]

Division V of HF215 (2013’s education reform bill) modified the assessment requirements as follows:  Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, districts will be required to administer assessments to all students enrolled in grades three through eleven.  The assessments shall be administered during the last quarter of the school year, must be aligned with the Iowa common core standards, must accurately describe student achievement and growth for accountability purposes, and must measure student progress toward college or career readiness.

Language that would have required those assessments to be “developed by a consortium in which the state of Iowa is a participant” (i.e. Smarter Balanced Assessments) was removed by the conference committee.  Instead, the director of the DE was directed to establish an assessment task force to review and make recommendations for a statewide assessment of student progress.  The task force recommendations shall be submitted by January 1, 2015.