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8/23/2012 6:28:00 PM
Oregon Educators Selected to Participate in Smarter Balanced's Assessment Development Process

Smarter Balanced has contracted development of the test items for the spring 2013 pilot assessment. Currently the pilot item development has been contracted to CTB McGraw Hill, American Institutes for Research and Council for Aid to Education; they are working together to develop 10,000 pilot items. There are several levels of teacher engagement in this work and 18 Oregon teachers are involved at this point (review of the item-writer-training materials, and item writing). Julie Swinehart - Crook County SD was selected to participate to review the Item Development Modules. Oregon also had six educators that were selected to review English/Language Arts Stimuli (content, bias/sensitivity and accessibility); Maureen Phillips - Western Oregon University, Deb Gaffney - Lincoln County SD, Remie Calalang - Bethel SD, Sue Smith - Retired-Salem-Keizer SD, Pamela Prosise - McMinnville SD and Laura Zink - Central SD.

The following educators from Oregon were picked by Smarter Balanced to be item writers (see table). Smarter also selected alternates to replace writers as needed. Smarter randomly selected applicants from this pool, evaluated their interest statement, and selected applicants to fill each state’s share of item writers according to the Smarter Balanced Participation Policies.

Name School, District Grade Content Area Status
Botenhagen, Jennifer Joan Austin Elementary, Newberg School District 29J 3 ELA/literacy Writer
Carranza, Duncan Clackamas High School, North Clackamas School District 7 ELA/literacy Writer
Almquist, Janell Edwards Elementary, Newberg 3 Math Writer
Grieshammer, David Elementary Math Coach (all 17 elementary schools), North Clackamas School District 4 Math Writer
Irish, Ellen Gaston Jr/Sr High School, Gaston 8 Math Writer
Thonstad, Cassandra Newberg High School, Newberg School District HS Math Writer


Item writers selected were notified via email on Tuesday, June 26 and started training via WebEx on Thursday, June 28. Applicants that were not selected for the item authoring process were also notified via email on Tuesday, June 26.

Smarter Balanced conducted focus groups in order for teachers to provide feedback about the different types of items and innovations that may be used on Smarter Balanced assessments. Oregon had five teachers that were selected for this process; Chris Ferguson - Pendleton SD, Terri Hethorn - Dallas SD, Susan Droke - Woodburn SD, Jennifer Clair - Roseburg SD and Anne Warrington - Rainier SD.

The Office of Assessment and Information Systems (OAIS) has notified stakeholders of educator involvement opportunities in the development of the Smarter Balanced assessments by sending out communication via the Superintendent's Pipeline, Assessment & Accountability Update and via content area list servs. OAIS has maintained a database of approximately 150 educators that have volunteered to participate in the Smarter Balanced summative assessment development, and as opportunities arise, OAIS content specialists nominate educators as needed from the database.

In addition, ODE has made an application to contribute some of its own (from OAKS) secure test items to the Smarter item banks (OAKS items that align to CCSS), and also convene Oregon teachers to develop new items for the Smarter pilot test. ODE has been awarded this opportunity to participate in Smarter Balanced's State Lead Item Procurement Study and is currently in the process of reviewing applications for potential item writers and reviewers to develop approximately 300 math items and 60 writing items for the Smarter Balanced Pilot Test.

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