The Vermont Agency of Education has announced that it has selected 27 Vermont elementary, middle and high schools to participate in field testing the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, a new computer-based educational testing program that will replace the state’s current NECAP tests for Math and ELA in the spring of 2015.
“Having more than a third of our schools volunteer for field testing speaks to the great interest our educators have in the new tests ,” Secretary of Education Armando Vilaseca said. “I’m sorry it wasn’t possible to include them all.” The Agency sent out request for volunteers in early July and received applications from 80 schools. Finalists were selected in the order their applications were received.
Through a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education, students who participate in the field test will not be required to take the NECAP tests that are scheduled to be administered during October. The waiver allows schools to avoid testing students twice in the same school year without running afoul of the assessment requirements set forth in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), better known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Smarter Balanced is being developed by a consortium of 28 states funded with a $178 million federal grant. The new tests will use a state-of-the-art on-line assessment delivery system that is expected to provide more accurate results than the current generation of tests while concurrently reducing the amount of time students spend on testing. Test results will help parents and teachers determine if students are on track for a successful transition to college or the workforce upon graduation.
The purpose of field testing is to ensure that assessment items and tasks meet high standards of technical and educational quality. It also provides students and teachers with a valuable preview of the new computer-based assessments, and will give the schools and the state an opportunity to prepare for the technological and logistical requirements of the new system.
“Unfortunately, the field test won’t generate any student test scores,” said Michael Hock, State Director of Educational Assessment, “but it does give Vermont a chance to contribute to the development of these exciting new educational tools. We believe the benefits justify having one year without state test results in the 27 field test schools.”
27 Vermont Schools Selected for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test
Addison Central School
Albert Bridge School
Barre City Elementary/Middle School
Barre Town Elementary
Blue Mountain Union School
Dover Elementary School
Essex High School
Essex Middle School
Ferrisburgh Central School
Hartland Elementary School
Mt. Mansfield Union High School
Proctor Jr/Sr High School
Spaulding High School
Underhill Central Elementary School
Underhill ID Elementary School
Vergennes Union Elementary School
Vergennes Union High School
Waits River Valley US
Warren Elementary School
Weybridge Elementary School
Windsor High School
Windsor State Street School
Woodstock Elementary School
Woodstock Union High School
Woodstock Union Middle School
Learn more about the Smarter Balanced assessments and field test in Vermont: http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/sbac.html.
Media Contacts: Angela Ross, (802) 828-3154; Michael Hock, (802) 828-3115