GOV. MALLOY AND EDUCATION COMMISSIONER WENTZELL ANNOUNCE
NEW STEP TO REDUCE STATE TESTING
Proposal to Limit Smarter Balanced Exam Builds on Effort to Help Districts Spend Less Time Testing and More Time Teaching
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and State Department of Education (SDE) Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced the implementation of a new step that will reduce testing time and expand learning time for more than 200,000 Connecticut children across over 800 schools. Changes to the application of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), impacting every student in grades three through eight, is as part of a broader effort to help districts spend less time testing students and more time teaching.
Currently in grades three through eight, there are two components of the SBAC exam. The first is a computer adaptive test –the portion of the assessment done electronically with adaptive questions based on student responses – and the second is a performance task, such as essays. As part of the new steps to reduce state testing, the performance tasks, which are often duplicative with in-class work,
will be eliminated. The change could increase learning time by up to an hour and forty-five minutes for every grade three through eight student.
The change is intended to increase student learning time, decrease student anxiety, assuage family concerns about testing, and limit over testing.
“We are working as hardas possible to be smart about testing, limit anxiety, and boost learning time. Tests are important – they help us measure ourselves and pinpoint how to improve. But where we find duplication, we should act. We’re going to do just that with this proposal,” Governor Malloy said. “When we know an exam won’t improve our understanding of a student’s standing, and we know it won’t necessarily improve teaching quality, then we should eliminate it so it doesn’t burden our students, teachers, and families. It’s our goal to be smart about how we test and ensure we find the right balance. This decision is a step in that direction.”
“By rightsizing the Smarter Balanced Assessment to Connecticut’s needs, we are not only saving time and money, but we are improving the teaching and learning process,” Commissioner Wentzell said.