Smarter Balanced Survey Results: Get Answers at PPS-SF Workshop, November 2 at Everett MS

posted Nov 1, 2015, 9:10 PM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Nov 2, 2015, 9:41 AM by Robin Dutton-Cookston ]

Here is what we heard from families when we asked for responses to recently released Smarter Balanced Assessment score reports:

Key questions:

1) How will scores be used by

  • teachers
  • schools
  • State and Federal government

2) How do I read the score report?

3) How does the test relate to the common core state standards?

Additional comments from survey participants:

  1. Comments/Questions related to technology:
    • Kids need to get comfortable with computers and we have barely begun this at home or at school for my 2nd grader
    • How much do student typing/computer abilities affect the results of the test? 
    • My child told me about a few technical problems he had while taking the tests, so I'm concerned that the equipment may be inconsistent at the schools. I also heard that there is support for Spanish language students, but is there similar and consistent language support available to other English Language Learner students? 
    • Lots of keyboarding required 
    • How the district will address equity issues for schools which do NOT have a set of computers ... (a loaner for the day is NOT preparing the kids to take the test early enough) 
    • Concerned to understand how technology and access to technology will impact scores
    • It seems inappropriate to test young students on computers without ensuring that they are fluent typists first. And emphasis on typing at a young age seems misplaced compared with other learning.
    • Concerned that schools are not adequately prepared to teach technology skills needed for the test (esp typing for 3rd graders)
  2. Comments/Questions related to scores and score reports
    • The expectations seem too low. The scale looks like the traditional A-F grading, but with the A eliminated! 
    • How can I find out my child's percentile score for CA, SFUSD, and our school? 
    • it would be better if the broke out the categories on the reverse side to be in-line with the front side. Example: on the front side, he met the standards in ELA but on the other one area was exceeded the standard and the other three said met or nearly met. I think those two should be separated so a parent can focus on the one or more nearly met. 
    • I would like to know school-wide data and district wide data to see where my child falls vis a vis her peers.
    • I would like to see scores in the individual areas broken out on the back of the report instead of at it near standard, I would like to have a score 
  3. Comments/Questions related to usefulness of testing
    • How much time is wasted on stupid tests
    • How does it matter? 
    • I have concerns about the amount of time being used to prepare the kids for the test - including how to use the tool and how to test. 
    • How do we know that standardized testing really tells us anything?
    • Will it help the student?
  4. Comments/Questions about how the scores are being used
    • I want to understand how the test is being used, how the kids are being taught and how well the curriculum is aligned with the information on the test.
    • I want to understand how these scores will impact my child and her opportunities. 
    • What does it mean if my child got full score on the test? How will schools and teachers handle those kids and keep them engaged and interested?  
  5. Comments/Questions about how the test is scored
    • That some questions may have more than 1 answer. Do they get partial credit if the student, for example, picks 1 correct answer but there were 3 total correct answers possible. In the student's written explanation, how is it scored/corrected? Are there 'key' words that test correctors are looking for. 
  6. Comments/Questions about achievement gaps
    • Wonder about differences between performance of different groups and what can be done to close the gap.   

Come to our workshop Monday November 2 at 6:30 at Everett Middle School to hear answers to these questions and demo an online tool to help you understand what the scores mean and how to use them to support your child:

  • Pizza, parking, childcare, and interpretation (Spanish and Cantonese) provided:  RSVP: https://sbac.eventbrite.com
  • Q & A with:
    • John Burke SFUSD Supervisor - Achievement Assessments 
    • Steve Kesel SFUSD Program Administrator - Educational Technology
    • Steve Padilla Director of Communications - GreatSchools
    • PPS-SF Staff
  • Demo GreatKids Test Guide