What is Smarter Balanced?
This spring, Gladstone students will be taking the state-required Smarter Balanced tests in English and math. The new tests replace Oregon’s OAKS tests in English and math, required for many years. Smarter Balanced is the same test that will be given in 17 other states. A similar test, PARCC, will be offered in a dozen other states.
How are the new tests different than the OAKS tests?
Aligned to our Common Core Curriculum, The Smarter Balanced tests include writing at every grade level, new question types, and performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate research, writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Test questions come in many forms, and allow students to interact with graphs and to type their own responses in addition to selecting answers in a multiple-choice format. Essay questions give students the opportunity to use evidence from multiple sources to build arguments and explain their reasoning.
The tests will given in sections over a few days. These tests are not timed, and students will be allotted the time they need to complete the test. While the test takes longer than the OAKS tests used previously, students will be tested only one time at each designated grade level.
After we have test results next fall, we will determine how to share those results with parents.
Who will take the tests?
The tests will be given in both English and in math at grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11. At John Wetten and Kraxberger, the tests will be given after Spring Break. At Gladstone High, the tests will start May 11.
If you have questions about the Smarter Balanced tests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our education team will provide a response in the new Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.
If you have a question about your student’s unique needs or participation in the test, please contact your school principal.