On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, the Vermont State Board of Education unanimously voted to suspend the use of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores for the 2014-2015 school year for the purpose of annual school evaluation determinations. These English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments were developed to measure student mastery of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which were adopted in 2010.
We believe standardized tests play an important but limited public assurance role in education. Well-designed tests can help evaluate greater equity of outcomes for our students. Educators can use tests to set realistic targets for improvement. Test scores can be a trigger for detailed evaluation to learn what schools are doing very effectively or to help identify strategies schools can use to get better. However, there are real limitations of what can be concluded about learning based on test scores, particularly in the first years of new tests and standards. Students this spring will be tested as if they had Common Core-aligned curricula for their entire educational career.