What's New with State Testing?

STATE TESTING CHANGES

New Learning Standards / New State Tests

Starting this school year, our state’s learning standards are now aligned to the Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts.  New state standards mean new state tests.  Washington, along with 23 other states, has a new state test aligned with the Common Core Standards.  These next-generation assessments are called the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA).  They aredesigned to accurately measure student progress toward college-and career-readiness in English language arts and mathematics.

Smarter Balanced Assessments Designed for 21st Century Learning 

The new tests require students to demonstrate complex thinking.  The tests are computer-based and use interactive online tools, meaning students will be able to demonstrate their learning in ways that paper and pencil testing does not offer.  Teachers are providing opportunities for students to become familiar and practice with the online testing system and interactive tools prior to testing this spring.  We encourage parents to take the online practice tests with their children to become familiar with the level of rigor and formatting of the tests.  The link to the practice test is provided below.

What tests will students take this spring?

  • Grades 3-8:  Students will take the Smarter Balanced tests in math and English language arts.  These two tests will replace the math, reading and writing Measurement of Student Progress (MSP).  The science MSP (taken in grades 5 and 8) will remain the same.
  • Students in grades 9-12 currently in Algebra I, Geometry, and Biology course will continue to take end-of-course exams (EOC)Students are required to pass one state math exam and the biology exam to be eligible to graduate.
  • 10th graders will take the new Smarter Balanced English language arts exit exam.  This online exam replaces the HSPE (High School Proficiency Exam) in reading and writing that is required to be eligible to graduate.
  • 11th graders will take the new Smarter Balanced tests that will measure college-and-career-readiness in math and English language arts.  Students will not have to pass those tests for high school graduation until the class of 2019.

When and where will students take these tests?

  • Students will take state tests at their school during regular school days.
  • Each student is scheduled to test over approximately 5 days during the testing window for his/her grade level.  It is important that students attend school and avoid appointments during the testing windows when at all possible. 
  • Your child’s school will provide more specific information regarding scheduling and what to expect on testing days.  Each student will need a set of ear buds or headphones for the online testing - basic ear buds work fine for testing purposes.

Below are the district testing windows for each state assessment:

AssessmentTesting Window
10th grade Smarter Balanced English language arts Late March/early April
3rd grade Smarter Balanced English language arts and math April
5th and 8th grade MSP Science test Late April
4th and 5th grade Smarter Balanced English language arts and math tests May
6th, 7th, 8th grade Smarter Balanced English language arts and math tests May
11th grade Smarter Balanced English language arts and math tests May
High school End-of-Course exams: math and Biology June

 

Link to Smarter Balanced practice tests:

link to smarter balanced practice tests

 

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