The Truth About the SBAC


Washington state started out by requiring the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) and then moved on to the Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) and now the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). If students don't pass the SBA, there are other options they can do to prove they know their stuff.

Austyn Johnson, Staff Writer

During the month of April, students will be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium at Kittitas Secondary School. The SBAC is an online assessment that is implemented to  check on student progress in math, English, and science.

While the SBAC has been around for awhile, there are many other ways to check on student progress that do not require students to take a standardized test.The assessment stresses a lot of students out.

“I think it’s not a good idea to have state testing because it puts loads of pressure on the students,” sophomore Blake Catlin said. “It has us thinking that if we don’t do good on the test we won’t do good in life. A lot of kids have bad test anxiety[,] so I feel like if we do bad on the test[,] teachers will think that we are dumb and don’t know anything.”

The SSBAC gives a lot of students test anxiety and with that, students aren’t performing at their best.

“It is my belief that there are better ways to assess student learning,” English teacher Wendy Hudson said. “It is a proven fact that many students know the material, but they do not do well on high-stakes tests.”

Sophomores take the math and English assessments,  juniors take the science assessment, freshman don’t do any state assessments, and seniors only retake it if they don’t pass the first time.

“I would like to see our 9th graders test in math so that we don’t have a gap in testing. I don’t think the state test is the be all end all for what student knows or does not know,” math teacher Nate Phillips said. 

While many staff and students believe that the Smarter Balanced Assessment should not remain implemented in the system, there are some people who have mixed feelings.

“What I like about the SBAC is it is a good overall measurement of a student’s skills in English. However, not all students are good test takers so the test does not accurately measure everyone’s abilities,” English teacher Calah Kulm said. “We need to make sure that all of our students are successful and I’m not confident that this test takes all students into account.”