The Attorney General’s office, on behalf of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the State Board of Education, filed an appeal to the ruling against the state’s membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The SBAC is a group of states working together to create common assessments and to share the cost of creating those tests.
This ruling has potential implications for other state departments that work with other states to share resources and share costs for providing services to the public. These state agreements should continue for the mutual benefit of all citizens.
The ruling does not affect spring assessments, as the state has already finalized testing plans for Spring 2015. Independent of Missouri’s membership in the SBAC, the Board and the Department support high quality assessments aligned with the Missouri Learning Standards.
“This year’s grade-level tests raise expectations for our students, and we know our kids can meet those expectations,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “If we are going to be a top state for education, we need to believe that all students can learn and fulfill their potential.”
The grade-level tests reduce testing time to approximately an hour in grades 3, 4, 6 and 7. Grades 5 and 8 will take the full assessment in order to demonstrate students’ readiness for middle school and high school.
This is the first year students in elementary school will take Missouri assessments on computers. End-of-course tests have been computer-based since 2010. The computerized tests are interactive, allowing students to solve problems and develop skills students will need.