Smarter Balance Assessment and Common Core


In June 2010, 31 states, including Connecticut, joined together to form the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) and submitted an application for the Race to the Top Assessment competition. The U.S. Department of Education awarded two Comprehensive Assessment Systems grants in September 2010; one to Smarter Balanced and the other to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Connecticut is a governing state in Smarter Balanced and is taking an active role in the consortium through representation on several workgroups.

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Smarter Balanced e-Alert Archive

Smarter News, the Consortium's monthly eNewsletter

Subscribe to the Smarter Balanced eNewsletter, Smarter News, to stay connected with news and information directly from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Web site

Visit the Smarter Balanced Web site which showcases the innovative work of the Consortium and provides frequent updates on activities, milestones and events. Visitors are able to explore an interactive timeline of activities by school year and download new fact sheets and resources.

Smarter Balanced Factsheets
  • Smarter Balanced Factsheet
    This one-page handout gives an overview of the assessment system.
  • Computer Adaptive Testing Factsheet
    This one-page handout describes the benefits of computer adaptive testing (CAT), which is an integral part of Smarter Balanced.
  • Factsheet for Parents
    This one-page handout explains key features of the Smarter Balanced system most revelant for parents and families.
  • Factsheet for Teachers
    This one-page handout explains key features of the Smarter Balanced system as well as how teachers are involved in the development process.
  • Higher Education Factsheet
    This one-page handout explains how Smarter Balanced is working with the higher education community.
  • Factsheet for Policymakers
    This one-page handout explains key features of the Smarter Balanced system.

More Publications & Resources available on the Smarter Balanced Web site.

Smarter Balanced Educator Recruitment

  • Item Author Invitation
    On behalf of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, CTB/McGraw-Hill is inviting qualified educators to participate in the item and task development process.  The deadline for submitting an application is June 11, 2012.
  • Item Review Invitation
    On behalf of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Measured Progress is inviting qualified educators to participate in the process of reviewing English language arts and mathematics test items and performance tasks.  These items and tasks will be reviewed for content, bias/sensitivity, and accessibility.  The deadline for submitting an application is June 25, 2012.
Smarter Balanced Student Cognitive Labs
  • Student Cognitive Labs Recruitment Flyer [ English ] [ Spanish ]
    The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will be conducting cognitive labs in Connecticut between June 6 and July 20, 2012. A cognitive lab is a research method used to study the thought processes people use in order to accomplish tasks. The goal of this cognitive lab research is to learn how students approach and interact with different types of computer-administered items. Student feedback will help ensure that the Smarter Balanced assessments reflect best practices and are valid measurements of knowledge and skills.
Technology Readiness Tool

Smarter Balanced and PARCC have contracted with Pearson to develop a Technology Readiness Tool to support states' planning as they transition to next-generation assessments to be administered during the 2014-15 school year. This tool will aid in the collection and assessment of districts' current technology capacity in four areas—devices, device to tester ratio, network infrastructure and staff and personnel. This data collection will allow for a comparison of current technology capacity against the technology that will be needed to administer the new online assessments. The first of six data collection windows will be from April 24 to June 14, 2012. More Information.

The Center for K–12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS® published Coming Together to Raise Achievement: New Assessments for the Common Core State Standards that provides an overview of the CCSS — what's new, why they're needed, and how these standards will drive new designs in assessment. It also provides descriptions of the two assessment systems, Smarter Balanced and PARCC.

Common Core State Standards in Connecticut

On July 7, 2010, the Connecticut State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics that will establish what Connecticut’s public school students should know and be able to do as they progress through Grades K–12. To learn more about the CCSS in Connecticut click on the icon below.


Common Core Implementation Video Series

To further aid states as they continue to implement the Common Core State Standards (Standards), the Hunt Institute and the Council of Chief State School Officers have commissioned a series of video vignettes that explain the Standards in far greater depth.

CCSSO Webinar on Text Complexity

The recording of a webinar on text complexity and the accompanying materials are now available online. The webinar, which focused on tools and resources to support teachers and districts on text complexity, featured Sue Pimentel, a member of the Common Core State Standards English language arts writing committee, as well as representatives from the Kansas and Louisiana Departments of Education.

Resource for Teachers:  Videos of Common Core Lessons

There are over 70 videos related to Common Core instruction available on the Teaching Channel. The videos provide lesson ideas, an overview of the ELA and Mathematics standards, and demonstrations of teaching practices. Videos vary in length from five to thirty minutes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked Smarter Balanced questions.