Fall 2012

SBAC and Hardware Options

Rolland Kornblau

Director of Technology 

Whittier City School District

Budget issues in the last few years caused by the state of the economy had left our district, like many others in California, with aging computers. As in most districts, our purchasing practices were adjusted to fit the new fiscal reality. So when the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) stated the new Common Core Assessments were going to use computers my first thought was, "How on earth would we be able to facilitate such a test for our students?" And then I realized this was the opportunity to begin searching for hardware that can be used for online testing.


In the beginning, the lack of information from SBAC regarding specifications didn't make my research easy.

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Why Computer Adaptive Testing?

Dennis Large
Consultant, CTAP Region 11
Los Angeles County Office of Education

The landscape for student assessment will change significantly in the spring of 2015. So planning for these changes should begin now. The new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year and they represent a considerable shift in how we view standards. The new standards are designed to be fewer, clearer, scaffolded, consistent, shared, and rigorous. They are designed to prepare students for college and careers. Technology is integrated into these new standards in powerful and meaningful ways. And, I think most significantly, there will be a new set of computer adaptive assessments built to be aligned to the CCSS.

 Raymond Chavez_2012 Milestones Reached:

Common Core and Smarter Balanced

Ray Chavez, Ed.D

Interim Chief Technology Officer 

Los Angeles County Office of Education 


Through the use of new technologies the design and implementation of advanced assessments and reporting systems is possible. Information that used to take months to process and distribute, will be available to teachers, parents and students in a timelier manner. An assessment system that offers current performance data can be utilized to shape instruction, influence professional development options, and offer a more accurate picture of each student's progress. These are the goals for the Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessment framework.


Over the past six months activities related to Common Core and Smarter Balanced has increased and several milestones were reached. Some of your questions were answered as a result of the following accomplishments:

 Read on...

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Guidelines for Purchasing New Hardware
Released by SBAC

Daniel Gumarang
Coordinator, Instructional Technology
West Covina Unified School District

The California Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium understand that schools and districts may be making decisions about what types of hardware and software to purchase for future instructional and assessment use. The Guidelines for Purchasing New Hardware document will be useful in determining that any devices acquired over the next two years will be compatible with the new assessments. As part of plans to support instruction, districts and schools may select computer systems that meet or exceed these guidelines and be confident that those systems will work with the assessments in the 2014-15 school year. Support for operating systems not specified, predating those specified, or with processor capacities lower than recommended, will be described in future updates to these guidelines on the SBAC site.


An official publication for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, 9300 Imperial Highway, Downey, CA 90242, 562.922.8652
Arturo Delgado, Ed.D.Superintendent

Board of Education: Douglas R. Boyd, President; Rudell S. Freer, Vice President;
Katie Braude, Gabriela Holt, Maria Reza, Thomas A. Saenz, Rebecca Turrentine
PIN: 2012-05-10-NEWS-34

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