Wyoming has signed into the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of the two national testing consortia in the US. These two consortia were awarded grants from the federal government to create assessments for the Common Core.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Points of Concern
1) Smarter Balanced is federally funded through the Race to the Top Assessment Grant.
2) Smarter Balanced is computer adaptive, which is different than its counterpart, PARCC. The other national assessment, PARCC is standardized. Therefore, this is not a true comparison of outcomes because they employ different methods of assessment.
3) Smarter Balanced is legally bound to the US Dept of Education via a cooperative agreement. Wyoming is bound to that cooperative agreement through the Memorandum of Understanding we signed with Smarter Balanced as a governing state.
4) The cooperative agreement between Smarter Balanced & US Dept of Education commits to the sharing of student data. The agreement reads:
“The Grantee must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the State level to ED or its designated program monitors, technical assistance providers, or researcher partners, and to GAO, and the auditors conducting the audit required by 34 CFR section 80.26.”
5) Smarter Balanced requires identification of barriers to implementation in state laws, statues, regulations or policies by the participating state.
6) Exiting the Smarter Balanced consortium is a 5 step process and includes an approval of the request to exit from the US Department of Education.
7) Exiting Smarter Balanced consortium also requires the signatures of all parties that signed the original MOU (Ron Micheli, Governor Mead, Jim Rose, Dean Faussett)
8) Smarter Balanced is curriculum embedded, “to enhance curriculum equity within and across schools”
Source: http://www.oacte.org/pdf/Smarter_Assessment_Consortium4-12-10.pdf (page 2)
9) The state of Wyoming has not done a cost analysis on Smarter Balanced or the technology/professional needs to support it. States are expected to fund ongoing operational costs.
10) Wyoming does not have a representative on the Executive Committee, which is charged with the task of oversight of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.
To learn more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium click the link below:
The Wyoming Legislative Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability met on May 9 & 10, 2013 to receive information from the Wyoming State Board of Education, the Wyoming Department of Education, and the National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment on the Statewide Accountability System. This included discussion on the national assessment, Smarter Balanced.
Dr. Deb Lindsey continued discussion with the Committee regarding the consortium assessment, outlining the difference between a governing state and an advisory state. In addition, the Department agreed to provide staff with a summary document outlining the various facts surrounding the common core and the consortium assessment that can be provided to the Committee. To read the minutes from the meeting click here.
There are great concerns with how the SBAC could affect data collection and sharing in the state of Wyoming. We have explained this in the “Data Collection and Privacy-Assessment” section of this website. It can be viewed here (see page 4).