Field Testing Replaces CST, except for Science
During this year of transition to the Common Core (new grade level standards), schools in California and 21 other states are participating in a trial run of a new kind of online assessment that replaces the California Standardized Test (CST). The new Smarter Balance Assessments (SBA) Field Testing period for Berkeley begins April 7. Exact testing dates vary by school and run through May 22.
The Field Test is a practice run of the assessment system that helps ensure that test questions are accurate and fair for all students. It also gives teachers and schools a chance to gauge their readiness in advance of the first operational assessment in spring 2015. Administered online, the Field Test closely resembles the summative assessment that students will participate in during the spring of 2015. Because we are conducting a “test of the test” no student test scores will be reported from the Field Test.
The new Smarter Balanced tests will help educators and parents know if students are progressing and understanding what they are supposed to be learning. These tests move away from a fill in the bubble format to a technology-based format, allowing for a better measure of the knowledge and skills students are acquiring. The tests include questions which require short answer, longer responses and performance tasks, in addition to multiple choice questions.A detailed set of Questions and Answers for administrators, teachers, staff, and parents, about the Field Test is available in PDF here.