Smarter Balanced Assessment Information

dforsyth Fri, 03/06/2015 - 1:57pm

This spring, Meridian will again be giving annual state assessments to students in grades 3-8 and high school.  These will include new tests called the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

State testing isn’t new to our district. We’ve had standards-aligned state tests for 18 years including the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) and have had online state testing for the MSP (Measures of Student Progress) and HSPE (High school Proficiency Exam) for five years. The transition to Smarter Balanced Assessments is happening all around the state and much of the country. Clear, understandable test scores help teachers and parents work together to adjust their approach and better meet students’ needs. Standardized tests also provide data that we use to determine, for example, what’s working in special education, or whether race- or income-based achievement gaps continue to persist.  You can access more information on the Assessment page of the OSPI website.

The Smarter Balanced tests assess our new state learning standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, which strive for college and career readiness by high school graduation. We anticipate that in this first year of assessing these new learning targets we will see a drop in the amount of students meeting standard in Meridian schools as well as in schools across Washington and other states. The state’s first year with the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) in 1997 saw passing rates of 21-48%. We expect it will likely take time for our schools to reach the success we’ve attained in recent years.  Our most recent data is located on the OSPI Report Card for Meridian. Your child’s teachers are the best resource for a complete picture of your child’s academic proficiency.

This is a baseline year for the new assessment.  There is more information on district assessments, the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and results of the National Assessment of Education Process (NAEP) on the Assessment page of the Meridian website.

Your student’s school will send follow-up information about upcoming testing dates.