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Delawares Assessment

Tony Alpert
Executive Director, Smarter Balanced
Jon Cohen
Vice President, American Institutes for Research

Delaware's Assessment
Measures Critical Thinking
Students need to think critically and know how to problem
solve to be successful in their choice of college and career.
Smarter Balanced, unlike previous tests, requires students to
write, think critically, and uses evidence to support why they
gave a certain answer.
Designed for All Students
Smarter Balanced offers the broadest array of accessibility
features ever offered in a statewide assessmentsuch as
Braille and glossaries provided in 10 languagesallowing all
students to demonstrate what they know and can do.

Delawares Assessment

Engaging and Interactive


Students live in a world filled with technology. Unlike the
bubble tests of the past, Smarter Balanced is administered
online. Smarter Balanced uses computer adaptive
technology to customize the test for each student.
Created by Educators
More than 4,700 educators have contributed to the
development and continuous improvement of Smarter
Balanced as a resource to improve teaching and learning.
Educators use Smarter Balanced as a tool to help students
meet their academic goals.

Previously

Now

Greater emphasis on specific and


procedural knowledge

Greater emphasis on application,


synthesis and communication

Optimized demonstrations of recent


acquisition of knowledge of content
standards

Measures college readiness and progress


toward college readiness

Multiple Choice and limited constructed


responses

Broad array of item types

Summative only

Balanced system that includes interim and


formative supports

Limited accommodations and supports

The largest array of universal tools,


supports and accommodations

A single assessment served multiple


purposes

Assessments are optimized for their


specific purposes

State Led

More than a test

A consortium of states working together and


making decisions about improving teaching
and learning; and
A public agency -- Hosted by University of
California, Los Angeles
Makes available a consistent test design,
items and technology.
States procure a provider for presenting the
items to students, help desk services,
scoring the test and reporting

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Governance
Governing Board
Chiefs are the policy body for Smarter
Balanced
Chiefs may delegate their authority to their
staff

Governance Document
Guides the operation of the consortium
Changes must be approved by states

MOU with UCLA


Built on a common template
Each state independently reviews and
elects to sign

Dispelling Myths

Student Data
Each member may elect to submit data
and may do so without including any
student identifiers
The use of all data is governed carefully by
Members and used only for the purposes
of assisting states and improving the
assessment
Finances
Members establish the membership fee
and approve the annual budget
Members approve the content of
RFPs and recommend winning proposals

Achievement Levels
Established by educators and members of
the community based on a deep review of
the content standards and the assessment
items
Included the most educators of any
standard setting process
Educators determined the level of
knowledge and skill that every student
taking the tests should be able to
demonstrate
Endorsed by the national Technical
Advisory Committee and by members

Test Length
The number of items on the test is about
the same as Delaware's previous tests
The Smarter Balanced test provides
students with the opportunity to read
multiple complex texts, write evidence
based analytical essays and describe the
processes that they use to solve problems

Design

Grade 4 Example: The Old Way

Multiply 1 by 10. Identify the correct answer below:


A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

10
20
14
15
None of the above

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Rethinking Alignment

Some items are written to address multiple


standards rather than separate questions for
each standard, or part of a standard
Items and tasks move beyond basic recall of
facts and procedures to assess students
application of knowledge. For example,
rather than asking students to multiply 1 by
10, some students may use that as one
possible strategy to respond to an application
question:

Grade 4 Example: Two Content Standards


and One Practice Standard

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This approach allows students to


communicate reasoning in a variety of ways

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English Language Arts/Literacy

Individual complex texts that students must


use as sources of evidence to infer word
meanings, the intent of the author and to
draw conclusions
Multiple complex texts to allow students to
demonstrate their ability to select
appropriate sources of evidence and
synthesize information in support of drawing
conclusions
Increasing progression of emphasis on
informational text as compared to literary
texts

English Language Arts/Literacy

Complex passages to allow students to


demonstrate their ability to analyze
information from non-text based sources
(audio and ASL)
Opportunities for students to write
analytical paragraphs and essays based
on their review of complex texts

Mathematics

Encourages fluency without creating


accessibility conflicts
Opportunities for students to solve
complex problems and describe why they
chose their answer
Maintain the focus and coherence of the
standards

Universal Tools, Designated


Supports and Accommodations

Appropriate resources should be available to


students
If they dont interfere with an items specific
measurement of the construct it is intended to measure
If there is research that supports their effectiveness

Resources should be restricted only if there are


compelling reasons
Measurement (construct conflicts)
Potential harm to student (competing cognitive load, test
fatigue)
Test security

Encoded in a member-directed policy document


that is enhanced annually based on
recommendations from members and external
experts

Braille

Contracted and Un-contracted


Print and Online
Adaptive and Fixed Form
Implementing Universal English Braille

ASL
Mathematics
ELA, Listening (Claim 3)
Glossaries
ELA and Math, English language glossaries
Math, Glossaries in 10 languages and
multiple dialects and audio supports
Math, Full Spanish Translation

Goals

Prevent remedial college courses

Increase the workforce skills

Wastes time
Wastes money

WSJ - Mentions of critical thinking in job postings


have doubled since 2009, according to an analysis
by career-search site Indeed.com. The site, which
combs job ads from several sources, found last
week that more than 21,000 health-care and 6,700
management postings contained some reference to
the skill

Smarter Enhancements

Enhancements

Illustrations
UEB Support
Item Map
Links to the Digital Library
More interims
Online Interpretative Guide
Enhancements to the open source Test
Delivery and Reporting Systems
Speaking
Strategic Plan
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Test Administration and Scoring

Test Administration and Scoring

Unlike many states, Delaware continued to


successfully test their students online without
major technical problems
Scores were returned faster this year with most
tests scored within 2 weeks of when the student
completed the test
(no large scale assessment has ever achieved
this rapid return of scores with a combination of
constructed response and adaptive test)

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AIR Enhancements

AIR Ways

Delaware teachers will be able leverage the full


potential of the interim assessments by seeing
the content of an item, their students responses
to the interim items along with feedback about
how groups of students performed on the
This will support teachers as they discover what
students know and can do
It will further help teachers discover students
misconceptions that are root causes of errors

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Registration System (TIDE)


Improvements

An updated interface and to make the system


easier to use
Align Delaware and Smarter Balanced
accessibility resources (accommodations and
non-embedded supports)
Districts may order paper and pencil tests in a
more automated and efficient manner

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Questions?