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Smarter Balanced Assessments

Smarter Balanced Overview

California is a governing state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a federally funded, national consortium of states. The goal of SBAC is to develop a balanced, coherent student assessment program, aligned to the CCSS that measures student progress toward college and career readiness.

Beginning in 2014–15, Smarter Balanced assessments will be administered to students annually in grades 3–8 in English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics, and once in grade 11 as required by federal law. Unlike STAR assessments, they will incorporate formative, interim, and summative assessments that are designed to support instruction and learning.

To see the map of participating Smarter Balanced states, visit the Smarter Balanced Member States Web page.

Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a balanced, high-quality assessment system-including formative, interim, and summative components-can improve teaching and learning by providing information and tools for teachers and schools to help students succeed. Timely and meaningful assessment information can offer specific information about areas of performance so that teachers can follow up with targeted instruction, students can better target their own efforts, and administrators and policymakers can more fully understand what students know and can do, in order to guide curriculum and professional development decisions.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium 2012