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2/27/2013 2:03:00 PM
Oregon Schools Participating in Pilot Test of Next-Generation Assessments

In the coming weeks, schools across Oregon will participate in the Pilot Test of the Smarter Balanced assessments in grades 3-11. The Pilot Test will allow Smarter Balanced to evaluate the performance of assessment items and the test delivery system under real-world conditions. This information will be used to develop additional items and performance tasks, conduct initial scaling, and refine the test engine over the next 18 months.

Participation in the Pilot Test is voluntary. Schools will have access to support and resources, including a training test to become familiar with the format of the online assessment. Since the Pilot Test is designed to be a test of the items and performance tasks—not an opportunity to report on student learning—schools will not receive student scores and the test will not replace other statewide assessments.

There are two important phases to the Pilot Test. Approximately 126 schools were recruited to participate in the scientific sample based on demographic characteristics. The scientific sample will ensure that the results from the Pilot Test accurately represent the student population across Smarter Balanced member states. Schools in the scientific sample will administer one content area (either mathematics or ELA/literacy) in up to two grades during a pre-determined two-week window under secure conditions.

Schools not selected as part of the scientific sample may still volunteer to participate through an online survey, to date 128 schools have volunteered. Oregon schools can sign up to participate in the volunteer portion of the Pilot Test by completing the online survey before Wednesday, March 27, 2013: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SmarterBalancedPilot.

The Smarter Balanced assessment system—with formative, interim, and summative components—is designed to provide better information and tools to improve teaching and learning. As a Smarter Balanced member state, Oregon plays a leading role in the development of next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Educators from Oregon have participated in the development and review of assessment items, achievement level descriptors, and test specifications.

For more information on the Pilot Test, visit: www.ode.state.or.us/go/smarter or http://www.smarterbalanced.org/pilot-test/.

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