Standardized Testing | News

Smarter Balanced Field Test Expanded

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium reported that its system is ready to handle a greater number of students than previously anticipated, so it's expanding its upcoming Field Test to allow member states to administer them to a wider selection of students, if desired.

According to Smarter Balanced, one of two state consortia developing assessments around Common Core standards that will commence in the 2014-2015 school year, the expansion follows successful pilot tests conducted in the spring among more than 5,000 schools and the more recent practice tests released in late May.

The Field Test is slated for spring 2014. It will provide a more comprehensive preview of the operational assessments that will be fully implemented in 2014-2015.

The Field Test will support 10 percent of member states' students in both English and math, a percentage that Smarter Balanced said would allow "testing experts to evaluate the fairness and stability of individual items and performance tasks prior to full administration of the new assessments in the 2014-15 school year."

"The primary purpose of this year's Field Test is to gauge the validity and reliability of these next-generation assessments by administering them to a representative sample of students, but we know many states are eager to go beyond that," said Joe Willhoft, executive director of Smarter Balanced, in a prepared statement. "We're confident our system can meet their needs."

He added: "Expanding the availability of the Field Test will help states judge the readiness of their schools to provide the technology and complete the staff development required to successfully implement the new assessments."

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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