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Message from the ABC Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu



Dr_Mary Sieu_

(Follow us on Twitter @abcsupt or Facebook to stay in touch)

Are you smarter than a 5th grader? I’m sure many of you who watched the popular television show and played along with the guest contestants felt either proud or dismayed in competing with the students. As the new Common Core State Standards are moving forward in all public schools in California, it’s important to know what is expected of our students. The new standards keep the best of what we have but replaced outdated ways of learning with a clear focus on the key knowledge and skills students need. California is a governing member of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) that is developing new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Recently, I tweeted to the public “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” I challenged the public to take a look at the new State test that will be implemented in 2014-15 called the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The Smarter Balanced Practice Tests are now available for grades three through eight and grade eleven in English-language arts and mathematics. It provides a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments but do not reflect the full range of content that our students may encounter on the actual assessments.

Students and parents are encouraged to go online to take the SBAC Practice Tests. You may find them at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/smarterbalanced.asp
The District is anticipating on administering the new assessments beginning 2014-15. The new SBAC tests will replace the California Standards Test that has been in place since 1999.

In ABCUSD, the test outcomes will be not only be used to determine a school’s Academic Performance Index (API) but they will also be used for the admissions criteria for Whitney High School and eligibility for the Gifted and Talented Education (G.A.T.E.) Programs. If you think you’re smarter than a 5th grader, then I challenge you to take the Smarter Balanced 5th Grade Practice Tests. If you’re feeling especially confident take the 11th grade test!

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