Smarter Balanced Assessments 23

The State Board Legislative agenda for 2014 makes more sense now that I’ve had a look at the Iowa’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium courtesy of Shane Vander Hart at Iowans for Local Control.

From page 3 of the MOU (signed by the Director of the DE, President of the State Board of Education, and the Governor):

Each State that is a member of the Consortium in 2014-2015 also agrees to the following:

  • Fully implement statewide the Consortium summative assessment in grades 3-8 and high school for both mathematics and English language arts no later than the 2014-2015 school year.

It seems that SF2284 put the State Board and the DE in a bit of a jam, in that they no longer have the authority to change the statewide accountability assessment for 2014-2015 as agreed, that they would like the assessment task force and the Iowa Legislature to get them out of.

Assuming the Legislature takes no action to approve the implementation for 2014-2015, what happens then? Will Iowa be demoted from Governing State to Advisory State? Will Iowa be required to exit the Consortium?

In other SBAC news:

Ed Week reports that SBAC plans to charge device and operating system providers an annual fee to certify compatibility of the devices/operating systems with the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Ed Week reports that SBAC will have four achievement levels, indicating the level of understanding of the math and English language arts content:

  • thorough
  • adequate
  • partial
  • minimal

SBAC is still working on setting cut-scores for each of the achievement levels and plans to embed items from NAEP and PISA in the spring 2014 field test.