Oregon Department of Education
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2/6/2013 5:20:00 PM
Revised Smarter Balanced Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)

The revised Smarter Balanced Initial Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) for both Math and English language arts/literacy, which include the draft college content-readiness definition and policy framework, are now posted for review.

ALDs describe performance on a standardized test in terms of levels or categories of performance. The Smarter Balanced system of ALDs is based upon four levels of achievement that describe whether students have demonstrated “deep command,” “sufficient command,” “partial command,” or “minimal command” of knowledge, skills, and processes across the two assessed content areas of English language arts/literacy and mathematics.

The most commonly understood use of ALDs is to communicate the meaning of test scores to teachers, parents, and students. Smarter Balanced is developing a system of ALDs that serve different purposes for item writing, standard-setting, and reporting results. Governing States are expected to adopt the initial ALDs in March 2013. ALDs may be revised as needed based on results from the Field Test of the assessment system in early 2014.

The draft initial ALDs and college readiness policy framework are part of a critical effort to ensure that the grade 11 summative assessment can be used as evidence that students are ready for entry-level, transferable, credit-bearing courses in English and mathematics and should be exempted from remedial coursework.

Smarter Balanced recognizes that college readiness encompasses a wide array of additional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will not be measured by the assessment system. The draft college content-readiness definition is focused on the core areas of ELA/literacy and mathematics described by the Common Core State Standards. In addition, the college content-readiness definition and policy framework are not designed to inform college or university admission decisions.

This review period will remain open until Wednesday, February 20, 2013. During this review period, stakeholders will be able to submit their feedback to survey questions posted with the materials that ask for their impression of the ALDs and college content-readiness materials.

All review materials are available at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/achievement-level-descriptors-and-college-readiness/ and the feedback survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G27QPCL. Stakeholders can also access the Draft 2 Achievement Level Descriptors & College Content - Readiness Webinar (pre-recorded) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk4d0XuCAlo&feature=youtu.be.

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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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