Sonoma County Office of Education

SBAC testing is getting underway

03/28/2016 -

SBAC small graphic, 111 Many students in our county will be taking the second round of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests this April and May. Parents may be wondering what this means for their children. Our state education officials emphasize that teachers and children should not be "stressing" about these tests. They represent a transition away from a focus on school accountability. The focus of these tests is providing teachers and students with an academic checkup, the results of which can give teachers useful information regarding how best to serve their students. Here are some important things to keep in mind as schools continue transitioning to new standards and testing models.

  • For the second year, this spring students in grades three through eight and eleven will take an assessment to measure their progress in learning English language arts (ELA) and mathematics through the relatively new state standards.
  • This test is an academic check-up, designed to guide discussions among parents and teachers and help teachers and schools adjust instruction to meet student needs. It is just one of the many ways student learning is measured in schools. These scores will not be used to determine class placement.
  • The SBAC test should not be compared to the old California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exam because it measures a different set of skills and knowledge.
  • You can expect to see your student’s scores in the late summer or early fall. These scores can provide a great basis for conversations with your child’s teacher about his or her goals for the year.
  • The SBAC is meant to help teachers measure student success and adjust their instruction as needed. The test not only emphasizes subject knowledge, but the critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills our students need to be successful in college and career in the 21st century. For more information, visit