It sounds like margarine, right?
It's not. It's a test. It's the test that is supposed to replace the MEAP test (but be given in the spring, and on computers). And it's supposed to be "Common Core aligned." And it's going to be longer than the MEAP. [It's state-mandated. So whatever school district or charter school you are in, this test should be of interest to you.]
But hey, it's got a logo that looks like it belongs to a forestry group.
Read the smarterbalanced.org web page here.
According to this fact sheet by Fair Test, "Two multi-state consortia — the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) — won federal grants to develop Common Core tests, which are due to be rolled out in 2014-15."
In Michigan, we will be using Smarter Balanced.
Here's a nice article on how the Smarter Balanced test is going to fund for-profit corporations. (OK, really--not so "nice." But it's worth paying attention to this!)
As Fair Test points out,
Proponents initially hyped new assessments that they said would measure – and help teachers promote – critical thinking. In fact, the exams will remain predominantly multiple choice. Heavy reliance on such items continues to promote rote teaching and learning. Assessments will generally include just one session of short performance tasks per subject. Some short-answer and “essay” questions will appear, just as on many current state tests. Common Core math items are often simple computation tasks buried in complex and sometimes confusing “word problems” (PARCC, 2012; SBAC, 2012). The prominent Gordon Commission of measurement and education experts concluded Common Core tests are currently “far from what is ultimately needed for either accountability or classroom instructional improvement purposes” (Gordon Commission, 2013).Oh yeah, and also? It's a computer-based test which means it is going to hog up the school computers. I sure am glad I voted for that technology millage...
Curious about the test? You should be. Take a sample of the test here. [Just log in as a "guest."]
And then? Please share your observations about the test sample in the comments section.
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