Recruiting for Smarter Balanced On-line Process for Setting Achievement Levels

In addition to the in-person panel process I mentioned in my previous post, Smarter Balanced will be soliciting input on the achievement level performance expectations through an on-line “crowdsourcing” process, one open to as many as 250,000 people. This Online Panel, which is open to the public and allows for broad participation, creates a critical opportunity to collect input from a diverse group of participants and establish consistent measures of progress for the Smarter Balanced interim and summative assessments.  (For more details about the achievement level descriptors, see the Smarter Balanced web site.) The Consortium is recruiting participants only through their K-12 and higher education leads now but will open the process up to a broad range of organizations and associations beginning this summer. Our goal is to get strong involvement from Washington higher education faculty in this process as it will provide critical input to setting the college-readiness performance expectation for the Smarter Balanced assessments.

By participating in the online session, panelists will recommend an achievement level score that demonstrates how much students should know or be able to do in order to be proficient at the grade-level standards and to be on track for eventual college and career readiness. It is important to have as many participants as possible, from as many backgrounds as possible, provide these recommendations.

The process of setting Achievement Levels will rely on the professional judgment and experience of educators and administrators in order to develop performance standards that are rigorous, fair, and accurate. The recommendations will be based on Achievement Level Descriptors written and approved by Smarter Balanced Governing States last year, the claims and targets defined for each content area and grade level, as well as educators’ expertise in their content area and experience with students. Acceptance of recommended scores is subject to existing approval processes within individual states.

The Online Panel to recommend Achievement Levels will occur during a specific 2-day window (within the October 6–17, 2014, time period) you will specify when you register. Unlike the 3-day process for the in-person panels, this process will focus only on the Level 3 performance score, and will take panelists no more than 3 hours to complete the orientation process, review test questions, and recommend a score for Achievement Level 3.

Interested participants can register here.

On the registration site, you will be asked to choose the grade and content area (English language arts/literacy or mathematics) and grade in which you want to participate. You will provide an email address, role, and demographic information. You will then be asked to verify your email and select a 2-day window for participation.

Registrations must be submitted online by September 19, 2014.

For more information, see this FAQ document:

Online Panel FAQs

If you have any questions feel free to email ( or call (360-704-4346) Bill Moore.

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