The all-digital Smarter and Balanced Field Test launches next week for Palo Alto High School juniors after being rescheduled from March 8 and March 9.
Despite the fact that the district shortened the testing duration from two days to one, Diana Wilmot, the district’s point person for the tests, says she feels confident that the assessment will gather enough data.
“If we can get all the juniors to come in for those two hours, then I think we will be able to properly test the infrastructure,” Wilmot said. “We will get a good feel for ‘testing the test.’ We are going to do our best to give them [the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium] what we can, given that the window has changed.”
Due to the decision to move the window to next week, Paly was forced to postpone its plans to administer the test.
“The purpose of the Smarter Balanced Field Test is to assess the viability of our infrastructure to give online assessments to students,” Wilmot said. “[It gives] our teachers and educators a better sense of how the Common Core standards will be measured in the future. This is going to replace STAR [Test].”
“There’s two parts to it,” Wilmot said. “One part is the performance task. It’s akin to a part two of an AP exam where you have to show your work, show your thinking — it’s open ended. The other part is based on computer enhanced items.”