The Next Generation Assessment Task Force was convened in Fall 2008 to examine balanced assessment systems and to make recommendations on the components of an assessment system essential to increasing student achievement. The concluding recommendations of the Next Generation Assessment Task Force are provided below and available for use by districts, professional development organizations, school boards, and the public.
Following the recommendations of the Next Generation Assessment Task Force the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has begun work toward a new balanced assessment system.
New Focus on Balanced Assessment
Wisconsin’s focus is on creating a balanced assessment system, a group of interrelated components designed to support the teaching/learning cycle. This system of assessment tools will meet multiple needs of students and educators. One test cannot do everything. One test cannot answer all questions. For instance, summative tests are not created to diagnose an individual student’s needs with respect to their classroom instruction. On the other hand, formative assessments and many interim assessments are designed around the “what’s next” question. The assessment system must also be part of a 21st century system of learning by working together with standards, curriculum, instruction, and support structures to ensure students are college and career ready.
To meet the recommendations of the Next Generation Assessment Task Force and achieve the goal of a new balanced assessment system, Wisconsin joined the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium in Spring 2010 as a governing state.
SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium
Wisconsin is a governing state within the multi-state SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, formed in response to the Race to the Top assessment grant competition to develop an innovative assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The new assessment system mirrors the recommendations of Wisconsin’s Next Generation Assessment Task Force. As You can access up-to-date information about the consortium's assessment plans on the Smarter Balanced webpage. For more information on implementing the Common Core in Wisconsin―and how this system will impact district curriculum, instruction, and assessment―please visit: http://standards.dpi.wi.gov.
- Smarter Quarterly Update - June 2013
- Smarter Quarterly Update - March 2013
- Smarter Quarterly Update - December 2012
- Smarter Quarterly Update - September 2012
- Smarter Quarterly Update - June 2012
- Smarter Quarterly Update - May 2012
- Smarter Quarterly Update - March 2012
- Smarter Quarterly Update - December 2011
- Smarter Quarterly Update - September 2011
- Smarter Quarterly Update - July 2011
- Smarter Quarterly Update - April 2011
The Smarter Balanced summative assessment will be a computer-adaptive test that includes multiple choice questions, computer-enhanced items, and performance tasks. The system will provide benchmark tools and formative strategies that will continuously guide instruction and provide classroom teachers with information. All components of the assessment system will be aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium - A Summary of Core Components
- Summative Assessment Master Workplan
- Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) Fact Sheet
- Sample Items and Performance Task FAQ
- Accessiblity and Accommodations Factsheet
- Technology Readiness Information for The Smarter Online Assessment
Practice Test - Teachers, parents, and students across the country can now access online practice tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Smarter Balanced has released sets of example test questions for grades 3–8 and 11 in both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The Practice Tests will help schools prepare for the implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System in the 2014-15 school year.
The Practice Tests provide a preview of the types of questions that will be featured in the summative assessment beginning in 2014-15, including selected-response items, constructed-response items, technology-enhanced items, and performance tasks—extended activities that challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to real-world problems.
The Practice Tests do not include all the features of the operational assessments. For example, students and teachers will not receive reports or scores from the Practice Tests. Although Smarter Balanced assessments will be computer adaptive, the Practice Tests follow a fixed-form model. By fall 2013, Smarter Balanced will make enhancements to the Practice Tests, including the addition of performance tasks in mathematics, new accommodations for students with disabilities, and scoring rubrics.
Along with the Practice Test there is a set of frequently asked questions available at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/practice-test/. Please provide your feedback regarding the quality and layout of the Practice Test items by completing the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5L2WKBD.
At the core of the Smarter Balanced assessment system is the involvement of educators in the development of formative strategies, test items, scoring rubrics, and the evaluation of performance events. By participating in the design and creation of professional development, the curriculum-instruction-assessment connection will become more explicit and intentional, and educators across consortium states will have the opportunity to enhance their assessment literacy and improve instruction. For more information about upcoming involvement opportunities and to apply to participate go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_smarterops.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium grant proposal was submitted in June 2010, and funding was announced in September 2010. Work officially began October 1, 2010, to develop the system. The consortium has until 2014-15 to administer a fully operational summative assessment. While the new assessment system will take four years to develop, Wisconsin may have the opportunity to pilot the use of a computer adaptive test prior to full implementation in 2014-15. Until then, we are required to administer the federally approved accountability tests (WKCE and WAA-SwD). As such, there are no changes to the assessment for the current school year. The Smarter webpage has a detailed timeline available.
- 9/2/10 - Wisconsin Wins Funding for New Assessment System
- 6/2/10 - Wisconsin Adopts Common Core State Standards
- 4/21/10 - Wisconsin Takes Leadership Role in Assessment Development