Smarter Balanced Survey Results

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.