Parents and guardians will receive student reports starting next week that show how their children scored on last spring’s Smarter Balanced assessment. While state and district-wide results were released in November, technical challenges related to the interface between the assessment’s score reporting system and school rosters delayed the printing of individual reports in New Hampshire’s largest school district.
New Hampshire is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a group of states which worked together to develop a new tool to assess English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The Smarter Balanced assessment replaces the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) in the same subject areas. Students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 took the SBAC assessment, which establishes a new baseline for academic progress.
“Assessments are like academic check-ups,” said Superintendent Debra Livingston. “Smarter Balanced results provide a picture of where a student is excelling and where a student needs some extra help. Over time, a student’s success and progress can be measured against the previous year’s results.”
Along with the student score reports for each subject, families will receive a guide produced by the school district to describe the SBAC, explain what the results mean, and offer additional resources for information. A sample score report also is included in the parent packet to provide more detail on how to read the scores.
Individual reports for students include a breakdown of their performance in categories within each subject, along with comparisons to school, district and state averages. Parents can use the information to better understand where their child needs additional practice or to be further challenged. The results can help parents work with teachers to identify strategies that support student progress.
SBAC scores are provided in levels:
· Level 4 = thorough understanding
· Level 3 = adequate understanding
· Level 2 = partial understanding
· Level 1 = minimal understanding
While scores of level 1 or level 2 indicate a need for further development of skills in a subject, they do not mean a student did not improve or learned less. The Smarter Balanced results also should not be compared to scores from previous assessments because SBAC measures different skills based on higher goals in college- and career-ready standards.
“Like New Hampshire, our Manchester Academic Standards reflect different expectations to ensure students’ success,” said Dr. Livingston. “Assessment scores are just one tool that can inform teachers about how to adjust instruction and make sure their students meet the new standards. Teachers continue to use classroom assignments, daily observations, and grades to help evaluate overall academic achievement.”