Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Smarter Balanced (SBAC) testing and your child

Photo of study materials from Sourabh, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Tests are an important part of high-quality teaching and learning (sometimes we refer to them as “assessments.”)

Just like class assignments and report cards, tests are a gauge of student progress. They provide information to your child’s school, teacher—and you—about how he or she is progressing toward California’s challenging goals for learning.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment measures what students know in English-language arts and Mathematics.

Just as important, the assessment uses computer-adaptive technology. This means the test automatically generates the next question based on his or her previous answer. This drills down to help teachers understand more precisely where your child is in understanding the subject.

The SBAC is a chance for reflection and growth. Teachers look for areas for improvement, and celebrate each child's accomplishments.

So, not only are assessments a good way to evaluate your child's progress and accomplishments, they also inform teachers, principals and the district as they work to improve teaching and learning.

How to help your child prepare


This year, testing will take place between March 6 and May 26. Check with your child’s school for the dates planned for your child to take the tests. Here are some things to remember:

  • As with every school day, a good night’s sleep helps your child have a successful day at school.
  • Because the tests are not timed, you want to remind your child not to rush through the test.
  • Let your child know that the SBAC is simply a tool to show where students are in their learning - so their teachers can do a better job helping them to learn.
  • Finally, it’s always good to do a practice run (follow the instructions for guest users). You and your child can take turns trying the test out to see what to expect.

Learn more about SFUSD’s assessments.

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