Washington State Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
Smarter Balanced has three components that all public schools in Washington can access: A Tools for Teachers site with instructional and professional learning resources, interim assessments for use throughout the year, and an end-of-year summative assessment.
Educators need to work with their school and/or district staff to access interim assessments and resources and to administer summative assessments. DACs may email Assessment Analysts for technical help with assigning educator roles for interim and summative assessments.
- Tools for Teachers
1. Tools for Teachers contains classroom activities, lessons, and professional development resources to help enhance instruction and support learning by helping educators implement the formative assessment process in their classrooms. Tools for Teachers also contains Connections Playlists that provide instructional next steps based on interim assessment results. A demonstration on how to use and navigate Tools for Teachers is available on the Smarter Balanced channel.
Access to Tools for Teachers is free for every public school district and ESD employee. Users such as faculty at institutions of higher education requiring access to the Tools for Teachers site can contact OSPI via the Tools for Teachers email.
Public school district and ESD employees can access Tools for Teachers via the WCAP Portal using their existing TIDE account. If assistance is needed, contact your District Assessment Coordinator (DAC). DACs may email Assessment Analysts for technical help with educator access.
- Interim Assessments
2. Interim assessments allow teachers to check student learning throughout the year, giving them information they can use to improve their instruction and help students meet the challenge of college- and career-ready standards. Interim assessments can serve a variety of educator needs. These computer-based tests provide meaningful feedback that teachers can use to help inform instruction and promote student success. The interim assessments are student and teacher facing; they are not for public use, display, or distribution.
Support for using the grades 9 and 10 Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICAs) is provided in the High School ICA Overview document.
- Summative Assessments
3. Summative assessments are one measure of students’ progress toward college and career readiness in English language arts/literacy and math. These assessments are given at the end of the school year and consist of two parts: a computer adaptive test and a performance task.
Visit the WCAP Portal for more information on Smarter Balanced assessments.
The following documents provide specific information about 10th grade testing.
- Smarter Balanced Reporting System (New for 2020–21)
The Smarter Reporting System (New for 2020–21)
The Smarter Reporting System (SRS) will replace AIRWays as the destination to look at interim results for ELA and Mathematics. Like AIRWays, a teacher can still see all of the interims given in one place and evaluate student results. SRS provides additional information about items including difficulty, evaluating the questions and the connection to whole class results, individual student answers more readily, and additional sorting options. The Smarter Balanced Interpretive Guide for ELA and Mathematics Assessments provides additional information on different features within the SRS.
Additionally, the manner of administration for an interim has been changed to Classroom and School/District Conversation. Classroom use is intended wholly for the teacher and their own use connected to their own formative assessment practices. Teachers can use interims flexibly within the classroom. After consulting other sources of information for context, information from interims in this category should be used only by classroom teachers to inform student instruction. Interim administration for classroom use can be either non-standardized, or similar to a summative administration. School/District Conversation can be used if an interim result will be a facet of a larger conversation. School and district staff should only use interim results with other school- and district-level evidence. Information from interims in this category can be used to start conversations that may inform school or district decisions. Interims and their associated data are not to be used for placement, promotion, prediction of summative scores, or other high-stakes purposes for students or teachers.
For additional information about the Smarter Reporting System and a brief demonstration the Understanding the Smarter Balanced Reporting System for Educators video is available on YouTube.