State Testing

Prospect Charter School will be participating in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in this school year.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is a service provided by a public institution (University of California, Los Angeles), governed by member states/territories and funded with member state/territory fees. Smarter Balanced has developed next-generation assessments to accurately measure student progress toward college and career readiness in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. Complete information on the Consortium and its assessments, including full practice tests for each grade and subject, can be found at www.smarterbalanced.org.

Smarter Balanced assessments have replaced existing tests in English and math for grades 3-8 and high school. Scores from the new assessments represent a realistic baseline that provides a more accurate indicator for teachers, students, and parents as they work to meet the rigorous demands of college and career readiness.

The Smarter Balanced assessments are a key part of implementing the Common Core and preparing all students for success in college and careers. Administered online, these new assessments provide an academic check-up and are designed to give teachers and parents better information to help students succeed.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed voluntarily and cooperatively by 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia, the Common Core State Standards offer schools, teachers, students, and parents clear, understandable, and consistent standards in English and math. The CCSS defines the knowledge and skills students should take away from their K-12 schooling to be successfully prepared for postsecondary and career opportunities. More than 43 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards.

Teachers and parents need information about whether students are meeting the expectations set by the CCSS. Smarter Balanced is developing an assessment system that will measure mastery of the Common Core State Standards and provide timely information about student achievement and progress toward college and career readiness. Educators also have access to a Digital Library of formative assessment resources and tools that they can use in the classroom to address the individual needs of their students.

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests, known as Smarter Balanced.

House Bill 2655 permits parents and adult students to annually opt-out of Oregon’s statewide summative tests in English Language Arts and Math by submitting this form to the school the student attends. The school shall provide any student who is exempted from a state test with supervised study time while other students are testing. The Opt Out form can be found below.

Smarter Balanced Tests

  • Challenge students to think critically and apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems
  • Test questions go beyond multiple-choice and allow students to explain their answers using short responses
  • Tests are aligned to higher standards that will measure what students know and are able to do at each grade level
  • Will be given after your child has completed at least two-thirds of the school year

Testing Time

  • The tests are not timed so your child can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do
  • Your child will only test once each year, unlike our previous tests which many students took multiple times

Test Results Offer Feedback

  • No single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress
  • The results of these tests act as a snapshot of you child’s progress and may be used along with other pieces of information to determine his or her strengths and areas for improvement
  • No student, parent, or teacher should be discouraged by the scores. The results provide an opportunity to focus on the needs of the student and support teachers and schools in their work
  • Students who earn a Level 3 or 4 on the tests and meet senior coursework requirements may also be able to forgo college placement testing and move directly into credit bearing courses in college

Participation Matters

  • Your child’s participation is important to ensure schools and districts receive the targeted resources they need to help all students succeed
  • Oregon schools risk losing $344 million in federal funds if our participation drops too low. In addition to the financial risk, there is also a very real impact on our district improvement efforts
  • Not having information on our students’ academic progress limits our ability to accurately identify where students are struggling, where they are excelling, and whether we are fulfilling our goal of narrowing achievement gaps

Parental Rights

  • You have the right to opt your child out of state summative tests in English Language Arts and Math
  • To opt-out of the tests, you should complete the Opt-Out form (link below) and submit it to your child’s school
  • Any student exempted from a state test will be provided with supervised study time while other students are testing
  • By signing the Opt-Out form, you may lose valuable information about how well your child is progressing in English Language Arts and Math. Opting-out may impact efforts by your school and district to equitably distribute resources and support student learning

Additional Resources:

Information about Oregon Extended Assessment: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/assessment/AltAssessment/Documents/

Annual assessment information: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/assessment/Documents/Opt-out_2019-20_Annual_Notice.pdf

Opt-Out Forms: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/assessment/Documents/Opt-Out_Form_2019-20.pdf