Clarification of the support designations found on the online assessments
According 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.
- Tools and/or supports that are designated specifically for Students with Disabilities (SWD).
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
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: