Policy & Assessment

Oregon Drops Smarter Balanced for High School

Next year Oregon's high schoolers will be taking different summative assessments than the one they have been taking. The state's Department of Education announced that it would be pulling out of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium specifically for its higher grades. The state also reported that it had no plans to switch testing for grades 3–8. That's a topic the department will be taking up for the 2017-2018 school year.

In a prepared statement the department noted that the change "comes in response to feedback received from stakeholders around the state that the statewide high school assessment should provide a direct benefit to students beyond meeting graduation requirements." Specifically, Oregon will drop grade 11 English language arts and math testing previously provided by Smarter Balanced.

Other states, such as Nebraska, have adopted college entrance exams as their assessments. Oregon already offers a "preliminary SAT" exam in grade 10 as an optional assessment.

The state expects to issue a request for information to solicit input from replacement vendors about their assessment offerings. If that process is successful, the department said, any new assessments would first be administered starting in the next school year.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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