Smarter Balanced Assessment Overview

  • ReadyWA 2016 SBA video link  
    State Testing, a Key Measure of Student Progress, Now Underway
    Knowing how many of our students are ready for career, college and life, and how well our schools are preparing them, is an important part of our state's accountability system. State testing, which is now underway in all subjects and grade levels, provides a key measure to help education leaders, teachers and parents information on how to improve student learning. Visit the Ready Washington coalition website, Real Learning for Real Life, to read about the 2016 state testing.
    Washington state shifted to the Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts in Spring 2015, and Northshore students in grades 3-8, 10 and 11 take the new state assessments, called Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA), online this spring beginning March 28.

    The new learning standards are different and more challenging than the standards they replaced. The Smarter Balanced Assessments replace the reading, writing and math Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) for students in grades 3-8. Grade 10 High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and End of Course (EOC) exams will also be replaced by the SBA over the next few years.

    The results from these new tests will give a more accurate picture of whether students are on track to being career and college ready after high school.

    How Are the Smarter Balanced Assessments Different?
    • They are aligned to English language arts and math Common Core State Standards. 
    • They are online. 
    • They are adaptive: Questions will adjust automatically based on the student’s previous response to more accurately measure a student’s performance level.
    • One part of the assessment is a performance activity. The class will participate in a teacher-led activity (20-30 minutes) and students will then complete an assignment on their own.

    What to Expect With Initial Results
    Smarter Balanced Assessments set a new baseline for student test scores (achievement levels) and measure the skills and knowledge students need to be successful after high school, including problem-solving, writing and critical thinking. Because they align to the Common Core State Standards, which are more difficult than the state’s former learning standards, fewer students are expected to be considered “proficient” on the tests than in the past.

Quick Links

  • State Learning Standards and Testing Overview (translations in 16 languages)
     Download the ReadyWA chart "Using Smarter Balanced Scores to Chart Your Path" by clicking the image below:
     ReadyWA chart
    Parent Support Guides
    Download a helpful guide for helping your child at home by clicking the image below:
    National PTA Parents' Guide to Student Success
    Download a parent's guide to new assessments in Washington state by clicking the image below:
    (English, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese)