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Smarter Balanced Delays Vote on Cut Scores

States in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have decided to take more time before approving a set of cut scores for the consortium's spring test.

They were originally scheduled to vote on the cut scores at a meeting in Chicago today, but after some discussion, decided to wait, according to consortium spokeswoman Jacqueline King.

"They had a good discussion. They reviewed the information. But they need more time for further consultation and discussion," she said. "They want to take the time to make sure they do this right."

There is no new date yet for a vote on the cut scores, but King said that states are "committed to moving rapidly."

As we reported back in August, the first stage of the process was engaging members of the public to review items online. Hundreds of panelists chosen by their states—largely teachers, principals, curriculum specialists, and higher-education faculty—gathered in Dallas last month to review test items and establish the points at which the material shifted from Level 1 difficulty to Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 at each grade, and in each subject, of the Smarter Balanced test. About 60 of those panelists then reviewed the cut scores for consistency across the grades.

The Smarter Balanced technical advisory committee reviewed the recommended cut scores. Now it's up to the K-12 and higher-education representatives of the states to consider them.

A one-page overview walks you through the process. More information about achievement-level setting can be found on the Smarter Balanced website.

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