Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, students throughout Michigan will be given an online exam to test their knowledge of core subjects.
The test replaces the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) and the Michigan Educational Assessment Progam (MEAP) in all subjects except social science and science.
Called Smarter Balanced, the exam was produced by The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a state-led effort to provide consistent and comparable standards, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, in English language arts, literacy and mathematics.
- By 2014-15, all assessments will be online.
- All assessments will be given in the spring, with the exception of optional standardized interim assessments during the year.
- Districts will still have paper and pencil option for the first three years.
Benefits of the online assessment
- Scores given within 48 hours of the test
- Fewer questions compared to fixed-form tests
- More accurate measurements of student progress over time
- Assessment tailored to student ability - question difficultly increases when students answer correctly and decreases when students answer incorrectly
- Greater security because not all students receive the same questions
- Retake option available for online only
Disadvantages of the online assesment
- It could take up to 12 weeks to test all students
- Students who take the test later could have an advantage
- School districts will have to invest in more technology
- Test results will likely be shared with the public on a staggered, rather than all at once
Is your district ready?
Smarter Balanced recently released a Technology Readiness Tool for districts to measure readiness to move to an online assessment program. Martineau said only about 6 percent of districts have taken the evaluation.
Want to know more?
Go to www.smarterbalanced.org.
What do you think?
Tell us in the comments area below.