Smarter Balance test explained

With the start of the New Year, juniors will be tasked with participating in a practice of the new Smarter Balance Test (SBA).

During End of Course testing Jan. 21 and 23, juniors will be assigned to rooms with computers to take the Math Interim Assessment, which is online.

This federal test will replace the state standardized tests of years past. The new test is called the Smarter Balance Assessment or SBA. The SBA is a junior level test that measures student’s college and career readiness.

Annette Burnett, on-time graduation specialist, helps students retrieve missing credits.

“There are differences in the Smarter Balance Test. There is an English, Language Arts test where it has students read research articles, answer research questions and write an essay. Much like the writing HSPE, it will give you a style of writing,” Burnett said. “There is a math piece that has a performance task, so you will learn the context of a problem, not answering based on content. Last year’s [math response] talked about how speeding tickets are made based on how fast you are going. The following questions would then be in regards to that context.”

The test will take place in a selected window this coming May. The SBA has some overlapping standards: you can pass either the SBA or the pre-existing standardized tests.

The class of 2016 has to pass the reading and writing HSPE or the SBA. The graduating classes of 2017 and 2018 the reading and writing HSPE will be replaced by the English and Language Arts SBA. In 2019 the SBA will replace the End of Course exam for math classes.