by ERICK HERRERA
Results for the newest standardized test, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) were released by the California Department of Education to the Montebello Unified School District (MUSD).
Grades 3-8 and 11 are given the SBAC, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Of the 17,000 students that were tested in the district, according to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress website, 29 percent met the standard for English Language Arts/Literacy and 17 percent met the standards for mathematics.
In English, 46 percent of the district juniors are ready for college level work, while in math 17 percent are ready. The MUSD will give individual student results to teachers in the near future.
“I think that this year’s scores are a starting point to see how future students can improve. With the new testing and integration of computers it can be difficult for the students taking it,” said Assistant Principal Constantino Duarte. “Students should have their SBAC results any week now; if a a student did not receive scores, they can go to the counseling office and ask for it, as they have a copy of it.”
The SBAC tests English, math standards, critical thinking, analytic writing and problem solving skills, which are designed to prepare students for college and careers of the 21st century. This first year of testing will be used as a starting point to measure future progress, according to the California Department of Education.
“Teachers have been doing a great job implementing common core in their classes,” said Testing Coordinator Gabriel Nadudvari. “I like how the test is on computer and online; however, it would be hard to get used to, since students are used to paper and pencil tests.”
The SBAC consists of two sections; the first portion of the test is on a computer that gives follow up questions based on initial answers, while the second part is a performance task that tests how well students apply their knowledge and skills to solve real world problems. Joe Willhoft, executive director of Smarter Balanced, hopes the testing will prepare students for college and careers.
“We aren’t used to this type of thinking; I think the testing format was what made it difficult for me. The way the questions were asked made me reread it multiple times to understand it.” said senior Andrea Anguiano.
The SBAC is a new form of standardized test that was previously the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR), a multiple choice test taken with pencil and paper answer sheets.
Photo by JAIMIE HSU