According to a recent Education Week article, delegates from the 25 Smarter Balanced member states will soon be reviewing and finalizing the tests English-language Learners (ELL) and Students with Disabilities (SWD) accommodations and modifications.
The big talking point of the review and approval process will be the range of translation options afforded on the math assessments. A full Spanish translation is already in the plans, but the committee would also like to explore extra translation and language measures, including:
additional full translation options, including American Sign Language (Smarter Balanced sent out an RFP for potential translation services outside of Spanish in July)
a glossary of translated keywords, including worlds translated in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic
the installation of a language complexity tool designed to measure the difficulty of the vocabulary and syntax in efforts to simplify the text
the development of a quasi-ratings system designed to advise schools and educators when the accommodations would/could be used (and when it may not be recommended)
The members states plan to present their review findings and complete a final vote of approval on September 10. To read more about the proposed Smarter Balanced accommodations and modifications, be sure to check out the full Education Week article (linked below).
Smarter Balanced Moves Ahead on Testing Tools for English-Learners - Education Week (requires subscription)