Updated: February 26, 2018
Oregon State Testing FAQs
The Smarter Balanced Assessment (“SBAC”) is Oregon's state assessment that is administered during students' Junior year in all public high schools. The assessment measures students' skills in English and Math and offers an important opportunity for students to meet state graduation requirements (called “Essential Skills”) in the areas of reading, writing and math. Because SBAC is so closely tied to graduation requirements, Seniors may also take the SBAC tests if necessary.
State testing data is used to evaluate our overall school performance in relation to other high schools, and we are often ranked among the best schools in Oregon. Because the state penalizes schools that do not meet a 90% test participation threshold, please reinforce to your Juniors the importance of taking this test and putting forth their best effort. Thank you!
Q: When will state testing occur at Westview?
A: At Westview, state testing will occur in two phases:
Phase 1 (March 20 and 21): March 20 will be an all-day state test session for Juniors and select Seniors who have not yet met Essential Skills requirements in EITHER Reading or Writing. March 21 will be an all-day state test session for Juniors who have not yet met Essential Skills requirements in Math. On both days, testing will occur in our school's gyms.
Phase 2 (all of April): Throughout April we will test all other Juniors, including those who have already passed their essential skills requirements, and those who need more time to complete testing from Phase 1. These Juniors will be released from non-academic classes like Study Hall, Early Release, etc. to complete testing in our computer labs. These individualized dates and times will be determined after we have finished Phase 1 testing.
Note: For all of the above, students must bring their fully charged Chromebook and a set of headphones.
Q: How much time does the SBAC test take?
A: Approximately 6 ½ hours. The state estimates that the Language Arts and Math sections combined will take a total of 6 ½ hours to complete. Not all students will need 6 ½ hours to complete the SBAC, and students may finish testing early.
Q: Will my student miss any classroom instruction?
A: Except for March 20 and 21, students will not miss any academic instruction. For any "Phase 2" testing in April (described above), students will only be released from non-academic classes in order to test, such as study hall, early release, teacher assistant, etc.
Q: In what ways does the SBAC test relate to my child's high school graduation requirements?
A: In order to graduate from high schools in Oregon, the state requires students to "meet" certain levels of proficiency in reading, writing, and math. The SBAC test is administered primarily for this purpose. Students may also meet these requirements with other standardized tests including the ACT and SAT, for example. To view a complete list of assessments by which students can "meet" these three content requirements, refer to the state's Essential Skills Manual by clicking here.
Q: What happens if my child performs poorly on the SBAC test?
A: The SBAC can only help a child (in the sense of meeting graduation requirements). SBAC scores do not appear on transcripts, nor are they sent to colleges. There is no consequence to an unsatisfactory SBAC score, other than that the student will need to continue to seek other ways to meet the state's graduation requirements. Students who have not met these graduation requirements by the start of their Senior year will be required to attend a mandatory intervention class, specifically designed to help students clear this bar.
Q: Where can I find official information (e.g. manuals, guides, resources, forms) about Smarter Balanced state testing?
A: You can find information on Oregon's Department of Education website. Click here.
Q: Who may I contact if I have questions about the SBAC test?
A: You may contact Assistant Principal Aki Mori via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions that are specific to your child's circumstances or status, you may want to start with his or her counselor.