Smarter Balanced field testing delayed

The start of field testing of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) has been delayed by one week, the State Department of Education announced Friday afternoon. The field tests will begin nationally on March 25.

The delay will ensure that "national Smarter Balanced administrators can take the time needed to ensure that each student gets the right test with the right tools and supports to meet his or her individual needs," the department said in a statement.

Smarter Balanced, the new standardized test that will replace the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test in 2015, will be field tested by about 100 Connecticut districts this year, including New London, Norwich, East Lyme and Lyme-Old Lyme.

"The SBAC organization's delay is disappointing, and the inconvenience this creates for our districts is real," Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor said in a statement. "With that said, we are pleased that SBAC is being appropriately cautious regarding necessary quality assurance. Furthermore, we have the utmost confidence in Connecticut district leaders and teachers to adapt and adjust with characteristic skill and professionalism."

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