UCLA Ed & IS Welcomes Smarter Balanced as New Resource in National K-12 Reform Leadership

Partnership between UCLA Education and Smarter Balanced aims to improve K-12 learning experience and educational outcomes nationwide.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a nationwide state-led consortium providing educational assessments aligned with Common Core State Standards to measure college and career readiness for K-12 students, has joined UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. The addition of Smarter Balanced to UCLA’s team of top education experts and resources reinforces the University’s national presence and educational leadership while creating a partnership to advance K-12 education, making it more relevant for the 21st Century.

UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, at the forefront of shaping educational content and practices, will align with Smarter Balanced to implement top-tier assessment services that enable teachers to effectively monitor and improve their practices.

The collaboration with Smarter Balanced will also extend existing work between Smarter Balanced and UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, as well as other experts on next generation K-12 teaching and learning.

“This important partnership between UCLA Education and Smarter Balanced and carries with it tremendous potential and opportunity to enhance and improve the learning experience and educational outcomes for millions of students nationwide,” stated UCLA Ed & IS Dean Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco. “We live in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, it is imperative that all students across America be well-prepared to be productive, engaged and ethical citizens, to better lead us into the 21st Century. With Smarter Balanced assessments measuring student progress, the best possible resources are being made available to students nationwide. We are honored and delighted to have Smarter Balanced as our partner.”

The Smarter Balanced alliance with UCLA Education scholars and researchers will center on the coordination of the Consortium’s national K-12 assessment program, which includes millions of students in nearly 20 states. The Consortium will employ a wide range of logistical, technological, content, and development components that involve coordination with leadership and legislatures in all of the participating states, approximately 20 outside vendors, national assessment and education leadership, and multiple units within UCLA’s campus.

Administered online, Smarter Balanced offers a comprehensive assessment system aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. It provides an academic check-up designed to help teachers and parents determine whether students are on track to be college and career-ready by the time they graduate high school. The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core.

At UCLA, the Smarter Balanced Consortium will continue to be governed by its member states and will be supported by member dues. Eighteen member states and one U.S. territory have executed agreements with UCLA, which are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Contact: Kathy Wyer, wyer@gseis.ucla.edu
(310) 206-0513