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Schools Prepare for SBAC Testing


Schools Prepare for SBAC Testing

Many students in our county will be taking the second round of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests this April and May. You may be wondering what this means for your child. Here are some important things to keep in mind as schools continue transitioning to new standards and testing models.

• For the second year, this spring students in grades three through eight and eleven will take an assessment to measure their progress in learning English language arts (ELA) and mathematics through the relatively new California Common Core State Standards.

• This test is an academic check-up, designed to guide discussions among parents and teachers and help teachers and schools adjust instruction to meet student needs. It is just one of the many ways student learning is measured in schools. These scores will not be used to determine class placement.

• The SBAC test should not be compared to the old California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exam because it measures a different set of skills and knowledge.

• You can expect to see your student’s scores in the late summer or early fall. These scores can provide a great basis for conversations with your child’s teacher about his or her goals for the year.

The SBAC is meant to help teachers measure student success and adjust their instruction as needed. The test not only emphasizes subject knowledge, but the critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills our students need to be successful in college and career in the 21st century. For more information, visit

Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D.

Steven Herrington is Sonoma County’s superintendent of schools.