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Thursday, May 21, 2015

New SBAC Testing

Now that I finished all my AP tests (yay!) I can get a bit of time to relax before my next round of testing. But not for long, as I, with the other juniors of my school, must spend next week taking the SBAC test.

But what is SBAC? SBAC stands for "Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium", and is the new standardized test for the new nationwide Common Core Standards. These tests are entirely on the computer and include math, reading, and research.

The SBAC is designed to be based off of general concepts and application. This means that students will need to know foundation concepts, but not have to memorize formulas, to test critical thinking skills.

Because of the emphasis on critical thinking, some colleges have began looking at the scores and using the results to determine if incoming students should be placed in remedial classes. In California, all campuses in the California State University System and almost 80 community colleges have begun to do this.
Map of states participating in SBAC testing
However, this test has its critics. Some are concerned about the ability of elementary school students to take this exam, with its complicated computer-based set-up and the large amount of time it will take. Others question the validity of the SBAC in testing critical thinking skills and whether or not standardized testing is necessary for public education

Protest is mounting in numerous ways, from scathing internet posts to entire junior classes deciding to opt-out of them. 

But what do you think? Are the SBAC a welcome change from the previous STAR tests? Or is it just another hoop to jump through for public education?

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant

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