Data & Assessment
Key Areas for SBAC Readiness
The areas outlined below offer essential starting points for district and school leadership teams preparing for the shift to SBAC testing.
Do you have sufficient Internet bandwidth to support the SBAC?
The SBAC will be accessible to students through the Internet during a 12-week testing window in Spring 2015. Districts need to have sufficient bandwidth capacity to support student access. Specific resources have been created to help schools evaluate their broadband capabilities. The SBAC Internet Bandwidth Diagnostic Tool can be helpful in this regard. Leadership teams are encouraged to work with technical staff to understand their district’s technical infrastructure capabilities and make necessary adjustments.
Do you have sufficient computers, laptops, and/or tablets?
Districts and schools should inventory their computer hardware and determine which devices can act as student workspaces for the SBAC. If findings reveal deficiencies, additional devices must be acquired. The Tech Readiness Tool and SBAC Readiness Calculator can be very helpful in evaluating school devices and forecasting needs for 2014-15.
Is instruction focused on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?
The SBAC will measure student understanding of the Common Core State Standards in English-language arts and mathematics. These new standards call for deeper thinking and interaction with content. Districts should plan to provide professional development to guide their staff in making the shift to the new standards. The California Department of Education (CDE) offers a Common Core Systems Implementation Plan (doc) that may be helpful as districts map out their transition to the Common Core.
Integration of Technology in All Classrooms
Is technology supporting everyday student learning activities?
Technology is not an “elective” with the Common Core Standards and 21st century learning. At a minimum, students need to know how to carry out computer-based tasks to perform well on the SBAC. Four challenging technology tasks that students needed to perform in the 2013 pilot tests were 1) moving between two or more screens, 2) operating spreadsheets and calculators, 3) manipulating virtual objects such as geometric constructions, and 4) editing electronic text. Recommended Digital Literacy and Technology Skills (pdf), from the Fresno County Office of Education, provides further information on the technology skills students will need.
How is formative assessment guiding classroom instruction?
An important part of the shift to Common Core State Standards with the SBAC involves formative assessments, which are assessments that take place as ideas and concepts are developing within a lesson or unit. Some Sonoma County districts are adopting specific data tools to implement formative assessment relative to the Common Core State Standards, such as STAR Reading Enterprise, Illuminate Education and Intel-Assess. Districts are using these resources to guide formative assessment and their work in professional learning communities.
- Rick Phelan, Director, Technology for Learners