SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium

Contact Information

Deb Lindsey
(307) 777-8753

Smarter Balanced Achievement Level Setting

SBAC is planning for the largest standard-setting (known as “achievement level setting” in SBAC parlance) in US history. Using information from this spring’s field test, participants will make recommendations about how much students need to know and be able to do on Smarter Balanced assessments in order to earn scores in each of the four performance categories (proficient, advanced, etc). SBAC plans for both in-person panels as well as on-line ones. Individuals have already been nominated from each governing state to participate in the in-person panels, but SBAC recruitment for the unique, online panels is now underway. The Online Panel will take place in mid-October and will allow thousands of teachers, educational administrators, higher education faculty and administrators, and members of the general public to evaluate a test and enter a cut score for Level 3 (considered the college/career readiness level for high school and the on-target level for grades 3–8). Registered educators and members of the public in Smarter Balanced states will log in to take a practice test for a selected grade and content area, review content standards and Achievement Level Descriptors, and examine items for that grade/content test. They will place a bookmark to make a recommendation for the Level 3 (proficient) cut score. Please share the opportunity to participate in this important project within your community! Those interested in participating must visit this link and complete the easy four-step registration process. Panelists will choose a 2-day window between October 6 and 17, 2014, for participation.

SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Important Documents

Please find two documents that are responses to concerns regarding SBAC. The first is a response to concerns of the Select Committee on Education Accountability which was prepared by the WDE. The second is a response to education data privacy and FERPA concerns which was prepared by the Data Quality Campaign.


At the May, 2013 meetings of the State Board of Education and Select Committee on Education Accountability, WDE Interim Director Jim Rose and WDE Director of State Assessment Deb Lindsey presented information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The materials from the presentation are provided below for use by district and school staff.

Wyoming is a governing state within the multi-state SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, formed in response to the Race to the Top assessment grant competition to develop an innovative assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

There’s a Smarter Balanced webpage where you can access information on the consortium’s assessment plans. Below are quarterly reports from SBAC which provide updates on the activities of the consortium.

Assessment System

The Smarter Balanced summative assessment will be a computer-adaptive test that includes multiple choice questions, computer-enhanced items, and performance tasks. Students will have two opportunities to test. Further, the system will provide benchmark tools and formative strategies that will continuously guide instruction and provide classroom teachers with information. All components of the assessment system will be aligned to the Common Core State Standards.


The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium grant proposal was submitted in June 2010, and funding was announced in September 2010. Work officially began October 1, 2010, to develop the system. The consortium has until 2014-15 to administer a fully operational summative assessment. While the new assessment system will take four years to develop, Wyoming has the opportunity to pilot the use of a computer adaptive test prior to full implementation in 2014-15. Until then, we are required to administer the current accountability tests (ACT, COMPASS, EXPLORE, PLAN, PAWS, SAWS and associated alternates). As such, there are no changes to the assessment for the current school year. The Smarter webpage has a detailed timeline available.

Spring 2014 Field Test

Thousands of students in Wyoming willbe taking the SBAC Field Test in the Spring of 2014. All of the information and resources necessary to support the Field Test can be found here: Are you interested in seeing what the test looks like but you are not participating in the Field Test? Then you can take the Practice Test, found here:

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