Sonoma County Office of Education

Smarter Balanced Assessment Resources for Teachers

Some excellent resources for teachers looking to read deeper into their students' SBAC scores can be found through examination of Achievement Level Descriptors and Claims.

Achievement Level Descriptors & Claims

Achievement Level Descriptors
These Achievement Level Descriptors, Math and Achievement Level Descriptors, English provide grade-specific detail and are one way to gauge student skills from the previous year's SBAC Summative Assessment.

Claims and Standards This chart, provided by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, offers a view of the relationship between standards, targets, and claims. Chart of standards, targets and claims

Here is a detailed account of what each claim means.

English Language Arts

  • Claim 1, Reading- Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts.
  • Claim 2, Writing- Students can produce effective and well-grounded writing for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • Claim 3, Speaking and Listening- Students can employ effective speaking and listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • Claim 4, Research/Inquiry- Students can engage in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information.


  • Claim 1, Concepts and Procedures- Students can explain and apply mathematical concepts and interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with precision and fluency.
  • Claim 2, Problem Solving- Students can solve a range of complex well-posed problems in pure and applied mathematics, making productive use of knowledge and problem solving strategies.
  • Claim 3, Communicating Reasoning- Students can clearly and precisely construct viable arguments to support their own reasoning and to critique the reasoning of others.
  • Claim 4, Modeling and Data Analysis- Students can analyze complex, real-world scenarios and can construct and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems.

Performance Relative to the Claims
Reports for teachers and parents contain information on student performance relative to each of the English language arts and mathematics claims. Student performance are reported as:

  • Below standard
  • At or near standard
  • Above standard

Grade & Subject Detailed Claim Descriptors
The Riverside County Office of Education created these guides for grades 3-8 and high school. They are useful in understanding specific English language arts and mathematics claims, targets, and standards; they also share information on the types of questions and depth of knowledge that will be assessed by the SBAC tests.

English Language Arts
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
High School
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
High School


Additional SBAC Resources

New! SCOE is now offering free brochures that school districts and teachers can share with parents as they communicate with them about CAASPP scores. Download them here.
English(PDF) | Spanish(PDF)

Understanding Your Child's SBAC Score Report- Video from Department of Education
Preparing for the release of family student score reports, the California Department of Education has posted a video titled, "Understanding Your Child’s Score Report." This video describes and explains the new 2015 Smarter Balanced Consortium Student Score Report. The video is available in both English and Spanish:
English Version
Spanish Version

The National PTA has also created a video, Raising the Bar: Implications on Test Scores with Common Core, that has helpful information for communicating with parents about the SBAC achievement levels.

Recent SCOE Blog Posts on SBAC
SBAC Management & Preliminary Results Reporting Systems
Helping Parents & Communities Understand California’s New Assessments
Formative Assessment: Key Strategy for CCSS Success
SBAC Digital Library: Preview Accounts Available
Smarter Balanced Field Test Recap
Promoting Understanding of the SBAC Field Test
Tools & Resources for SBAC Field Test Preparation
Understanding Performance Tasks
Preparing for the Smarter Balanced Field Tests
Transition to SBAC: Checklist for School Leaders
Teacher/Administrator Impressions of SBAC Pilot Testing
Student Impressions of SBAC Pilot Testing
Formative Assessment
New View of Student Learning Potential

FAQs and Key Resources
FAQ from Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
SBAC’s Summary of Core Components (pdf)
STAR-SBAC Comparison by Santa Barbara COE (pdf)
SBAC Parent & Student Information

Lisa Wittke Schaffner, Board Member
"The Sonoma County Board of Education sets policy for its alternative education program, serves in an oversight role for SCOE, and supports our educational agenda. We believe every student has a unique set of abilities, potential, and needs. Our board compliments the work and innovation of SCOE, and serves as an educational partner for the Sonoma County community." - Lisa Wittke Schaffner, Board Member