Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Testing Consortium Responds: ‘We Couldn’t Agree More’

April 30, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The recent Commentary “Did the Common Core Kill Classroom Assessment?” (April 15, 2019) brought attention to the need to support teachers in the classroom. Doing so is part of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s daily work, and we appreciate the author bringing attention to this issue.

As the essay described, states have made important progress by describing the knowledge and skills students need to prepare them for a range of options after high school. However, as with any policy, a successful outcome requires deliberate implementation.

Assessing these standards is complex, but it’s a problem worth solving.

While the author may be correct in his assertion that “today’s standards have effectively put developing aligned classroom assessments out of the reach of practicing educators,” we would similarly argue that most of today’s problems in education aren’t solvable by individuals working by themselves.

In Smarter Balanced states, most educators do not have to develop classroom resources and tools on their own. Working together, educators and Smarter Balanced have helped to produce more than 100 interim assessments that are available throughout the year to check in on students’ progress. And in the fall, we’ll debut more standards-aligned focused interim assessments and formative resources.

In the essay, the author writes, “those who develop summative assessments aligned to more-challenging standards should consider it a professional obligation to also develop tools that educators can use to mirror those challenging approaches in classroom and formative assessments.”

We couldn’t agree more, and that’s exactly what we strive to do as a consortium of states. A significant portion of our work is focused on providing tools and resources to help teachers enhance their classroom instruction. We take the Commentary as a call to action to redouble our efforts to ensure educators across the country have the tools and supports they need.

Tony Alpert

Executive Director

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Santa Clara, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 2019 edition of Education Week as Testing Consortium Responds: ‘We Couldn’t Agree More’

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Opinion ‘A Culture of Care’: How Schools Can Alleviate Educator Stress This Year
It takes more than deep breathing to alleviate the stress teachers feel. Here's how to get to the root cause.
Sean Slade & Alyssa Gallagher
6 min read
shutterstock 740616958 resized
Teaching Profession Reported Essay Students Aren’t the Only Ones Grieving
Faced with so many losses stemming from the pandemic, what can be done to help teachers manage their own grief?
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read