The SBAC, or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, is an English and Math test assessment for students in grades 3-12. With the help of many teachers and students, the SBAC was created in 2013. Teachers contributed by doing things such as writing the test questions, designing different levels of competency, and assisting in the overall collaboration.
The assessment is customized to fit the student’s level of knowledge. When the students answer correctly, the questions become harder, and when they answer incorrectly, the questions become easier according to the SBAC website.
The SBAC has continued to grow throughout various places including America, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Bureau of Indian Education. According to Smarter Balance, the public agency that created the SBAC, 7M+ students took the 2015 summative assessment.
Juniors at Helix Charter High School recently took the SBAC.
Brian Kick, director of data system and IT at Helix, mentioned the importance of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, stating “Scoring well helps build Helix’s reputation. How the community and colleges perceive our school can be an important factor in getting into colleges or other post secondary institutions.”
Kick explains how the test is not only important for the school, but for the students “ The constructive and critical thinking skills that the SBAC measures are skills that you will be using throughout your life” Kick said. This test is not only measuring what you know, but also measuring your ability to apply what you know and logically assess and solve problems.”
The test is not only different from other tests because of its ability to adapt to the students taking it, but it’s also taken online.
“The key difference of the SBAC is that the computer assessment is adaptive based on the student performance…The idea is that the assessment will better measure what a student know versus what a student does not know” said Paula Ann Trevino, 11th Grade Level Principal at Helix. This new way of testing is proving to be an innovative change for schools, students, and teachers.
According to the Smarter Balance website, “More than 250 colleges use  test scores as a factor in determining students readiness for college courses.” The Smarter Balance test is now becoming a way to judge how prepared students are for academics beyond high school.
Junior students tested in English on March 30, 31st, and April 3rd, and will be testing for math on April 26th, 27th, and 28th. Results are expected in the fall.