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Smarter Balanced Answers to the Questions about 2017 Test Results

Smarter Balanced AnswersThe Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has released the results of its investigative analysis of the 2017 Smarter Balanced assessments. The analyses were conducted to validate the 2017 test scores and investigate the possibility of technical issues that could have affected the test results.

With this report, the Smarter Balanced officials have concluded that “the test scores accurately describe what students knew and were able to do in spring 2017 related to the learning standards.”

What was this investigation about? 

The release of the spring 2017 Smarter Balanced assessments showed that the student gains had plateaued from 2016. At that time, educators questioned if this flattening of the scores was due to technical problems in the exam, and if there were serious issues in the test.

Subsequently, the consortium officials promised to investigate the issue and conduct analyses to address the questions raised by the educators. Their Technical Advisory Committee addressed the following list of questions:

  1. How did students perform in 2017 compared to 2016?
  2. Were there fewer test questions available?
  3. Did students receive more difficult test questions in 2017 compared to previous years?
  4. Did the newly-added test questions impact test results?
  5. Did students spend less time taking the test?
  6. Did students take the test earlier in the school year?
  7. Were the student demographics different?

Answers to Questions about Smarter Balanced 2017 Test Results

Based on its investigation, Smarter Balanced has just released an update on the analyses it performed.

Major takeaways from the Smarter Balanced Report are:

  1. The 2017 tests measured student success as precisely as the 2016 tests.
  2. There were no technical issues with the 2017 assessments.
  3. The newly added question items did not have a substantial effect on 2017 results.
  4. The new items appear to have improved the capability of the SBAC test to describe student learning
  5. Some of the gains between 2015 and 2016 were in part based on students becoming more familiar with the format of the test.
  6. It would work towards establishing procedures to monitor and potentially discriminate better between growth due to increased familiarity with the test and true improvement in student learning.

In short, the Smarter Balanced officials have concluded that the 2017 tests results were accurate and there were no issues with the Spring 2017 SBAC assessments.


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PracTutor solution for RTI intervention

Schools use PracTutor for all three tiers of Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.

PracTutor identifies students at-risk in the initial phase itself and accelerates their learning with instruction and practice that is intensive, balanced, and personalized.

Tier 1 – Core Instructional Interventions

All students in the Tier 1 phase receive high quality and scientifically segregated set of instruction. They are differentiated to meet their needs and are screened on a periodic basis to identify struggling learners who need additional support.

PracTutor takes a pre-test for each of the common core domains to ensure that each student has a unique learning path based on his/her skill set. The students then choose and learn from the educational and entertaining videos. Each video corresponds to one of the learning styles as per VARK (Video, Audio, Reading, and Kinesthetic). Students learn, practice, and take tests for each standard to ensure continuous progress. A student can take up the same lesson again and again with various resources until he receives desired grades. The score and progress records help identify the struggling students.

When teachers monitor students’ progress and get immediate alerts related to the struggling students, they provide instant remediation and help them on the individual basis.

Tier 2 – Targeted Group Interventions

In Tier 2 phase, the students identified as not “making adequate progress in the core curriculum” are provided with progressive intensive instruction that match their needs. As stated earlier these needs are identified based on the individual levels of performance and progress.

PracTutor ensures that the students who are identified as the struggling students in the core curriculum receive sufficient instructions. These instructions are in the form of videos, a step-by-step guide, along with explanations for each concept to ensure they grasp and relate to the basics thoroughly before they proceed ahead.

Teachers can group the students as per their skills and can assign the core standards to individual groups or to the whole class as per the needs of attention and intervention. The detailed reports help the school administrators and teachers to stay on the top of their assignments and progress.

Tier 3 – Intensive And Individual Interventions

In phase 3, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits for the remediation of the existing problems. This level assists in prevention of more severe and deep-rooted issues.

PracTutor links each common core standards to the previous pre-requisite standard; this helps introduce intensive intervention by inserting the missing skills in the student’s personalized learning path. The student can learn the missing skills through the set of videos and practice (with hints and step-by-step explanations) to ensure the existing problems are resolved before proceeding to the next standard.

NCTM recommends a set of in the process of creating intervention program and PracTutor is the only program that satisfies all the criteria.

PracTutor For Enrichment

PracTutor is equally well suited for talented, proficient, dedicated, or gifted students as it is for the students that lag behind.

PracTutor takes a pre-test for each of the common core domains to ensure that each student has a unique learning path based on his/her skill set. The advanced students start with challenging core standards and are not required to complete the standards that they are already familiar with. This engages them more and helps them stay motivated.
Each core standard in PracTutor has a critical thinking practice and tests to challenge the advanced level students. These tests are application-based and concept building questions that are aligned with the PARCC and the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

PracTutor For Career And College Readiness

With the growing complexity of the world and the increasing demands of the 21st-century workforce, there is little doubt that all students must graduate from high school fully prepared for college AND careers.

PracTutor’s differentiated instructions through videos practice and tests relevant to real world problems help ensure the students are prepared for healthy career options and competitive college.

About PracTutor
PracTutor is a customized learning and practice environment to help students in Grades 1 to 8 master Math and English. We provide 1-to-1 mentoring for each student. We make the learning fun by introducing gamification and help parents and teachers track progress and get alerts whenever they need help.

For More Visit http://www.practutor.com