May 2014



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Educators wanted to help set Smarter Balanced achievement level descriptors

Once the Smarter Balanced Field Test concludes, achievement levels must be set for next year’s fully operational assessment. This process will include an online panel, scheduled for Oct. 6-17, that will allow up to 250,000 K-12 educators, higher education faculty, parents and other interested parties to participate virtually in recommending achievement levels. This is a critical opportunity to collect input from a diverse group of participants and establish consistent measures of progress.

By participating in the online session, panelists will recommend an achievement level score that demonstrates how much students should know or be able to do in order to reach Achievement Level 3 (proficient) at the grade-level standards and to be on track for eventual college and career readiness. It is important to have as many participants as possible, from as many backgrounds as possible, provide these recommendations.

The process of setting achievement levels will establish performance standards that are rigorous, fair and accurate. The recommendations will be based on achievement level descriptors written and approved by Smarter Balanced governing states last year, the claims and targets defined for each content area and grade level, as well as educators’ expertise in their content area and experience with students. Acceptance of recommended scores is subject to existing approval processes within the individual consortium states.

The online panel to recommend achievement levels will occur during a two-day window within the October 6–17 time period. It will take panelists up to three hours to complete the orientation process, review test questions, and recommend a score for Achievement Level 3.

Interested participants can register here.

On the registration site, you will be asked to choose the grade and content area (English language arts/literacy or mathematics) in which you want to participate. You will be asked to provide an email address, role and demographic information. You will then be asked to verify your email and select a two-day window for participation.

Registrations must be submitted online by September 19.

It is very important to keep your registration confirmation email. The Department of Education will not be able to retrieve it for you.

Contact Jan Martin, Department of Education, at (605) 773-3246 with questions.