Thanks to reader Lynn who found out that yes, the SBAC scores will be used to find the students who can apply for highly capable programs.
You have to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- when was this going to be announced?
- why is the district, once again, using a test that is not created to be a gatekeeper as a gatekeeper test?
From the head of testing, Eric Anderson:
On using Smarter Balanced Assessment Data
We will continue to use NWEA national norms for MAP and use statewide norms for SBAs.
To help identify students for advanced learning programs, Seattle Public Schools uses percentile rankings generated from student achievement assessments. Each student’s percentile rank on an achievement test is the percentage of scores that were equal to or lower than the student’s score. For example, if a student scored at the 95th percentile, this means that 95% of all other scores were equal to or lower than the student’s score. For the MAP test, which will be used as the achievement measure in grades K-2nd, a student’s percentile rank is determined by ranking his or her score compared to the scores of a large representative sample of students who take the MAP test across the country. For the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), which will be used as the achievement measure in grades 3rd-8th, a student’s percentile rank is determined by ranking his or her score compared to the scores of all students who take the SBA test across the state of Washington.
Changing to a more rigorous or more difficult assessment will generally not have an impact on the proportion of students who would meet a given percentile rank threshold. What matters is how well Seattle students score relative to other students who take the test. If the new test is more difficult for Seattle students it presumably will also be more difficult for all other students who take the test. If Seattle students in general have historically outscored their peers across the state, for example, they are likely to continue to outscore their peers on the new test such as Smarter Balanced. For example, if 10% of Seattle students scored at the 95th percentile or higher on a given test, it is likely that a similar proportion of Seattle students (i.e., approximately 10%) would score at the 95th percentile or higher on a new test (even if the new test was more difficult) if the population of students that Seattle students are compared to does not change.
Eric M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Director, Research, Evaluation & Assessment Seattle Public Schools