The 2014-2015 school year marks the first year that students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a standardized test aligned with the new Common Core State Standards. The Eugene School District 4J recently shared Smarter Balanced’s request for community members to weigh in on how difficult the test questions are, in light of the fact that “the state of Oregon and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium want to ensure Smarter Balanced achievement levels reflect challenging but fair expectations for all Oregon students.”
Groups like the Oregon Education Association, which called for a moritorium on the test, feel that the implementation is too rushed, and some say the standards were not tested on children before they were implemented.
Although students will be the ones taking the test, the Smarter Balanced Consortium is asking “educators, parents and business leaders” to “recommend achievement levels after reviewing test questions from selected English and math tests.”
The Smarter Balanced website says volunteer reviewers will have the opportunity to “review actual test items, recommend proficiency scores and help establish consistent measures of student progress.” In order to participate, register here by Sept. 19.