Starting April 20, juniors at Cleveland will be joining the rest of the state and most of the nation in taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests, beginning at least a monthlong testing odyssey.
Students are required to take both the literacy and math SBAC, and school officials have allotted a total of four and half hours for the literacy test, and four hours for the math test. If students need more time, they can have it, because the tests are untimed, officials say.
The tests, which both include a “performance task” and a computer adaptive test, replace the OAKS assessments, a requirement for graduation. If students do not pass the SBAC, then they can provide two work samples to replace each test score in order to meet graduation requirements.
Students have until April 1 to opt out of the tests, but according to Jan Watt, special projects coordinator, a decision to opt out means that it puts Cleveland in danger of not reaching 95 percent participation rate, a factor in how the state rates schools. Students who opt out of the test are recorded as non-participation. Below 95 percent participation means Cleveland would receive a “failure” on its state report card.
The literacy test begins April 20 with a planned 30-minute classroom activity in English classes. Then, starting on April 22-25, about 100 students a day will be pulled from classrooms to computer labs to take the tests. The math testing week starts on May 4, for the classroom activity, and then actual testing runs from May 5-8. Makeup time begins May 13.
Test coordinator Kelly Cook will compile a different schedule for juniors who are IB testing. They will take the SBAC after IB testing, starting May 26. Band and choir students may have scheduling conflicts depending on state competitions, and will have a different schedule as well.
The district also provides juniors the chance to take the ACT test in the spring. Juniors will take that test on April 28. To sample the SBAC for yourself, check out http://tinyurl.com/CHSPractice.