SBAC, Round 2: Schools begin testing period

Across Idaho, SBAC season began Monday.

SBACIt’s the second year for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam, an online test aligned with the Idaho Core Standards.

State officials are hoping for a quicker test and a smoother grading process — and say the state will benefit from collecting another year of student data on the math and English language arts exam.

“A true picture of student achievement will be determined over several years as we teach to improved standards in Idaho,” state superintendent Sherri Ybarra said Monday. “I am a strong advocate of using multiple measures over time to assess student achievement, and this assessment can be one of those measures.”

Student scores exceeded projections last spring — the first time state officials used the SBAC to gauge school performance and student growth. But other problems plagued the first year of the SBAC. Test results were delayed, and were delivered to districts after schools were out for the summer. Some school officials scrambled to find computer lab time for a test that, on average, took students anywhere from five to eight hours to complete.

Ybarra has said she worked with test vendors to shave an hour off the assessment, and she expects fewer glitches this year.

The testing period began Monday and ends May 20.