SBAC (Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium)
The Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium is an online summative assessment that utilizes computer- adaptive testing and performance tasks to track progress toward mastery of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math across multiple states. Assembly Bill (AB) 484 requires most students in grades 3-8 and 11 to take the SBAC as part of the statewide California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing program except for the following students:
- English Learners (ELs) in a US school for less than 1 year will not take the ELA test. They only take math.
- Students with severe cognitive disabilities, as documented in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP), will not take the ELA or math tests.
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)
California’s new student assessment system is now known as California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The CAASPP System replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. The primary purpose of CAASPP is to assist teachers, administrators, and pupils and their parents by promoting high-quality teaching and learning through the use of a variety of assessment approaches and item types.
CAASPP is comprised of the following:
- Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades three through eight, and grade eleven. The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments which are delivered by computer consist of two sections: a computer-adaptive test and a performance task (PT) based on the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. The computer-adaptive section includes a range of item types such as selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, etc. The PT are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness. For students in grade eleven, the Early Assessment Program (EAP) will use the Smarter Balanced summative assessments.
- Grade-level science assessments, including the California Standards Tests (CSTs), California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), and the California Modified Assessment (CMA), in grades five, eight, and ten. The CSTs, CMA, and CAPA are all paper-pencil tests based on the California content standards for science adopted by the State Board of California in October 1998. (Science assessments based on the Next Generation Science Standards, adopted in September 2013, are not yet available).
- The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for English–language arts and mathematics in grades three through eight, and grade eleven. The content of the CAA is based on alternate achievement standards derived from the Common Core State Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The CAA will be delivered on the computer for this operational administration.
SBAC Summative Assessment: March 9 to June 3
Science and Alternative Assessment: March 9 to June 3
Schools are required to complete SBAC summative testing during these dates.
Attendance during these windows is important as each test builds on the previous test. Students missing one day may need to halt their testing progress until make-up tests are administered.
Parents/Guardians may submit written requests annually to exempt their children from all or any part of the SBAC, CSTs, CMA, and CAPA for Science, and/or STS for RLA. All such requests must be honored as indicated in EC Section 60615. Parent Notes to excuse their child must include the following:
- Student’s name and school of attendance
- Request to exclude their students from testing
- Name of test(s) or parts of test(s) to be opted out of
- School year
- Signature of parent or legal guardian
A new request letter must be submitted each school year.
Additional Resources and Information
- Smarter Balanced Assessments Overview (Smarter Balanced website)
- Frequently Asked Questions – Smarter Balanced Assessments
- Parent and student resources (California Department of Education)
- Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Reports (California Department of Education)
- Test Score Guide (California Department of Education)