Monday, March 5, 2012

Opportunity to provide feedback: SBAC Item Specifications Released for Third Round of Review

The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) announced one last opportuity for the public (including teachers and administrators) to review and provide feedback on the SBAC item writing specifications and guidlines. These are documents that SBAC will use to develop test items for the assessment. The review window closes March 16. This gives individuals in our state an excellent opportunity to: further their understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and how it can be assessed; gain insight into the Smarter Balanced assessment system; and be involved and provide feedback into the development process.

All the documents and a review survey are available via the Smarter Balanced Web site. A link to the documents and survey form are posted at Reviews must be completed by March 16.

For your reference, here are some suggestions for the kinds of individuals who might be appropriate to review each of the draft documents.

- Accessibility and Accommodations Guidelines: Teachers, Parents and Specialists for Students with Disabilities and/or English Language Learners or administrators who run programs for these students

- Bias and Sensitivity Guidelines: Individuals interested in the range of student diversity (personal characteristics such as race/ethnicity, disability, religion, etc.)

- ELA Specifications: Teachers, Parents, Educational Organizations, English Department Chairs/Faculty

- Math Specifications: Teachers, Parents, Educational Organizations, Math Department Chairs/Faculty

- Performance Task Specificiations: Both English and Math Chairs/Faculty, Teachers, Parents, Educational Organizations

- Stimulus Speciations: Both English and Math Chairs/Faculty, Teachers, Parents, Educational Organizations

- Style Guide: Editors and publishers of academic materials

- Technology Enhanced Item Specifications: Both English and Math Chairs/Faculty and those working with information technology.

Reviewers who have a familiarity with the CCSS (available at will be best able to provide informed commentary on the ELA, Math, Performance Task and Stimulus Specifications. The Smarter Balanced content specifications (available at are also important background reading for reviews.