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Smarter Balanced States Approve Achievement Level Recommendations

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Smarter Balanced members voted to approve the initial achievement levels for the math and English assessments that will be administered in 17 states and one territory this school year. The achievement levels help provide a more accurate picture of individual student performance, and the vote marks an incredibly important milestone in the development of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.

Achievement Level Setting was an inclusive, collaborative process that involved an unprecedented level of educator and public input. More than 2,500 educators, parents, and other interested stakeholders provided input during the Online Panel. Their recommendations were shared at In-Person workshops in Dallas with nearly 500 teachers, school leaders, higher education faculty, parents, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Participants reviewed test questions and determined threshold scores for four achievement levels for each grade in both subjects. In addition, a cross-grade review committee comprised of 72 members took results from both the Online Panel and In-Person workshops into consideration as they developed recommendations aligned across grades to reflect student progress from year to year.

It’s important to remember that achievement levels are a starting point for discussion about the performance of individual students and groups of students. In addition to achievement levels, there are other ways to evaluate academic progress of students and schools. Smarter Balanced states unanimously approved a position paper that provides guidelines for how scores and achievement levels can be used and interpreted.

We know that new content standards set higher expectations for students. That’s why the new assessments are designed to evaluate student performance against those higher standards. It is therefore not surprising that we may see a decline in student scores this year. However, over time the performance of students will improve.

In the coming months, Smarter Balanced states will present the approved achievement level recommendations to policymaking entities that have the authority to formally adopt achievement levels in each state.This authority typically rests with the state board of education.

To learn more about the Achievement Level Setting process, visit the Achievement Levels page.

Read more FULL REPORT

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Smarter Balanced States Approve Achievement Level Recommendations

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Members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have voted to approve initial achievement levels for the mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) assessments that will be administered in 17 states and one territory this school year. The vote marks an important milestone in the development of the assessment system. READ THE PRESS RELEASE

LEARN MORE ABOUT ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS

Smarter Balanced Hires Deputy Executive Director

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) has appointed Luci Willits as its deputy executive director. Willits joins the state-led consortium December 8. As deputy executive director, Willits will focus on strategy and state services, overseeing communications, policy, and partnerships with higher education. LEARN MORE

Field Test Report Now Available

A report on the Smarter Balanced Field Test is now available. This report presents results from state surveys given to students and adults in 13 Smarter Balanced member states. The Field Test or “test of the test” was administered in the spring of 2014 to more than 4.2 million students across the Consortium, and provided teachers and schools an opportunity to gauge their readiness in advance of the operational assessments in spring 2015. LEARN MORE

New Resources Available on the Support for Under-Represented Students Page

To prepare states across the Consortium for successful implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, a variety of updates have been made to the Support for Under-Represented Students page. Updated versions of the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, Accessibility and Accommodations Factsheet, and Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations FAQs are now available.

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Google Apps for Education: Deployment Guide

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Steps to transition your medium-sized business, educational institution, or government agency to Google Apps. Includes topics such as email configuration, account provisioning, data migration, mobile device management, and more.

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Applications are now open for Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute and the Generation Google Scholarship!

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Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2015

Are you a current senior in high school interested in studying computer science at university?

if (highSchoolStudent && interestedInCS && graduationYear == 2015) {
applyToCSSI();
}

We are now accepting applications for the 2015 Generation Google Scholarship for First Years and Computer Science Summer Institute. Read more about both programs below and apply today!

What’s the difference?:

Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology—especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field.

The Generation Google Scholarship for high school seniors helps aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. Selected students will receive 10,000 USD (for those studying in the US) or 5,000 CAD (for those studying in Canada) for the 2015-2016 school year. as part of the scholarship, current high school seniors who are entering their first year of university in 2015-2016 will be required to attend CSSI in the summer of 2015.

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College Goal Washington 2015 Financial Aid Events for Seniors

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Seattle Public Schools would like to invite all seniors to attend one of the many College Goal Washington Financial Aid Nights happening in January.

Financial aid experts and trained volunteers will be on hand at each event to walk students through the FAFSA process. The FAFSA is the first step in accessing college financial aid. It is required for most scholarships, grants and loans. College Bound Scholarship seniors must complete their FAFSA by February 1st in order to meet the priority funding date.

College Goal Washington Event dates and locations are:

Thursday, January 8th (6:00-8:30pm) @ Roosevelt HS
Monday, January 12th (5-7:30pm) at Franklin HS
Tuesday, January 13th (2:30-6:30pm) @ Cleveland HS
Thursday, January 15th (6:30-8:30pm) @ Chief Sealth HS
Thursday, January 15th (6-8pm) @ Nathan Hale HS
Tuesday, January 20th (6:30-8:30pm) @ West Seattle HS
Wednesday, January 21st (6-8pm) @ Garfield HS
Thursday, January 22nd (3-7pm) @ Rainier Beach HS

These events are open to all seniors in the district.

For additional details and a list of what to bring, visit http://www.roadmaptocollege.org
Dec. 5, 2014 | Career and College Readiness | Phone: (206) 252-007

Level Playing Field Institute

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Interview with the Level Playing Field Institute

Model View Culture talks to Dr. Jarvis Sulcer, Executive Director of the LPFI.

What is the Level Playing Field Institute? What are your goals and mission?

LPFI_SMASH_2010_Scholar_with_Equations

The Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) is a non-profit with headquarters in Oakland, California. Our mission is to eliminate the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and foster their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

We focus on improving access and opportunity for underrepresented students of color in STEM. Specifically, we operate STEM-focused education programs, execute innovative computer science initiatives, and conduct research on STEM equity and opportunity.

Our main goal for 2014 is to find new ways to fill in the opportunity gaps through our middle- and high school STEM intervention programs. We are creating sustainable partnerships with a variety of partners including schools, non-profit organizations, for-profit companies and university faculty to expand our networks of support for underrepresented students of color pursuing STEM degrees and careers.

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Neha Ramu, Teen With Higher IQ Than Einstein, Says Comparison Is ‘Not Right’ (VIDEO)

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From: huffingtonpost.com

Meet Neha Ramu, the 13-year-old who reached the highest possible score on the Mensa IQ test — even higher than Einstein’s. In fact, she’s in the top one percent of intelligence ratings among people in the UK, according to Asian News International.

But don’t be too quick to hold her up to other famous geniuses. She’ll be the first to tell you that she doesn’t think it’s a fair comparison.

The Huffington Post covered her amazing story in March, and this week the BBC released an awesome interview with the teen.

Read more about Neha Ramu

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