Smarter Balanced Assessments Approve ELL Support Measures

Posted by Zack Blois on Sep 13, 2013 12:53:00 PM
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The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) member states have agreed to offer native language translations of directions and selected test items, per a recent Education Week article.

Clarification of the support designations found on the online assessments

smarter balanced common coreAccording to the article, the consortium met in Los Angeles on Tuesday and approved a set of usability, accessibility, and accommodations guidelines that lay out the range of afforded testing support resources. The supports are classified into three different designations: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations.

  • Universal Tools:
    • Any tool built into the online tests that are available to all students. Examples include test breaks, embedded calculators, dictionary access, highlighting ability, and spell checking.
  • Designated Supports:
    • Tools, resources, or features that are available to all students but are only utilized when deemed needed by the educator(s). Many of the translation and language support resources fall under this designation.

Expanded listing of Designated Language Supports

The Education Week article states that the new ELL support measures will include:

  • fully translated test documents
  • translated glossaries for selected math terms
  • "stacked" translations of terms and/or selections that appear above the original English words
Because the tests are administered digitally, these features can be turned on and off by the educator/test administrator, as deemed needed. 

Language support options vary from member state to member state

The Spanish translation of the tests will be available to all 25 Smarter Balanced member states. Additionally, individual states are responsible of determinining if other language translations (Arabic, French, etc.) are required within their individual tests.

It's also important to note that some states prohibit the use of any language other than English to instruct or test ELLs. States with these laws on the books will not be able to access the translated tests and support options. To learn more about the newly announced Smarter Balanced ELL support options, be sure to check out the Education Week article listed below:

Smarter Balanced Approves Testing Supports for English-Learners - Education Week

Want more info about the new online CCSS tests? Download our free eBooklet, "Mastering the Common Core Digital Math Assessments" today!

Also, be sure to attend our CCSS Math Assessment Prep Webinar:

More Common Core Assessment Articles:

PBS NewsHour Examines Computer-based Common Core Assessments

Educational Technology Professionals Share Online Testing Tips

Preparing for the Common Core Digital Assessments

Do PARCC and Smarter Balanced truly assess 'deeper understanding'?

Topics: Common Core Assessments

Wowzers is a comprehensive online math program covering all Common Core State Standards for grades K-8. The research-based program adapts to each learner and allows for an individualized path through the curriculum. Content is presented in multiple ways, and appeals to tactile, auditory, and visual learners. Assessments mirror those found on high-stakes achievement tests and provide teachers and administrators with the information that they need to personalize learning for each student.

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