Bulldog Bugle

The student news site of Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School

Bulldog Bugle

Bulldog Bugle

SBAC testing: Your questions answered

The logo of SBAC
Smarter Balanced Assesment
The logo of SBAC

At Animo Jefferson Middle School, about three weeks after spring break students go into SBAC season. They have a change in schedule, this includes one testing block and two enrichment blocks. 


What is SBAC?

According to Ms. Gutierrez, “SBAC is a tool to assess learning.”

According to Ms. Perez, “SBAC is a test that is given to all students in middle school 6th, 7th and 8th grade and it tests basically how close you are to meeting the standards for English and for math.”


Why is it important?

 According to Ms. Perez, ” The SBAC is important because it lets our student know how they are doing academically compared to all other kids in the country. Not just JMS students take it but students in other states and students in other cities and they can see, like, ‘okay I’m doing as good as other eighth graders in other places’ and that should make you feel, like, ready for what is supposed to happen at high school and the future.”

According to Ms. Gutierrez, ” SBAC is important because it is the way to measure how students are learning. Typically it focuses on English and math, the main subject, but they also, sometimes they will look at others, like in science. It’s a good way to see how students are learning based on our standards, like you need to know in different subjects.”

According to Learning Heroes, “SBAC is a group of states that brought teachers, administrators and experts together to develop tests to measure how well students understand and are able to apply the skills and knowledge required by the state standards. The tests are also designed to provide educators with a deeper understanding of how students learn.”


Why do we need to do it?

According to Ms. Gutierrez, “SBAC is the important tool that is utilized to measure what students have learned and specifically in the areas of English and math. Those are the two primary areas that SBAC has looked at. They do have other- you know sometimes you do take science, but it is a good way to measure how much you know, what students have learned based on the standards that you have to follow in each English and math.”

According to Ms. Perez, “The SBAC, what it should do if we are looking at the data is to tell you like how close you are to being on grade level so at the end of sixth grade when you get that score, if it says you are proficient then you should feel like ‘okay I know everything a sixth grader needs to know’ and the same thing each year. You should have an idea, like ‘do I know everything that I am supposed to know for English and math if I’m in this grade.”

We need to do SBAC because it helps us show what we know and are able to do in English and math.

According to The California Department of Education, being able to show what we know and are able to do in English and math is important because it helps design teaching and learning throughout the year. It’s also a tool for teachers to give lessons to students that they know will help them and they will understand. 


Is it graded?

According to Ms. Perez, “So it doesn’t have a grade like an A, B, C or D. That doesn’t really exist. It has like a rubric and you basically-  like a long time ago a bunch of people got together and said ‘these are all the things a sixth grader should know how to do in English these are the things sixth graders should know how to do in math’ and they did that for every grade level. So you don’t have a grade, you have a score that tells you how much you have learned on the things you’re supposed to know. ”

According to Ms. Gutierrez, “SBAC is not graded in the traditional sense of like you get an A, B, C or F and it’s also not a pass or fail type of assessment. You do get a score but the score is to inform you if you are at grade level, are you above grade level, are you below. Usually like your benchmarks, but it is not graded like you would be in a classroom.” 

The SBAC is not graded so you have nothing to worry about. It’s just like an I-Ready lesson seeing how much you have achieved since you were in sixth grade.

According to Lumos Learning, “The scaled score, which is the student’s overall numerical score, reveals a student’s current achievement level, as well as their growth measure over time. Scaled scores are measured on a continuous scale of approximately 2000 to 3000, and this scale increases over grade levels. They can help districts, schools, and teachers see gaps in achievement among various groups of students in a school or district.”


Does it affect your grade? 

 According to Ms. Perez, “It doesn’t affect your grade but I know some people are sometimes frustrated with their electives or their schedule and the biggest message I would say is probably for eighth graders tests don’t stop. And a lot of our students are interested on going to college and the truth is that sometimes there isn’t a grade but you need to know that you are good enough and that you can compete against other people. The tests are a good way to just make sure that you are able to be on the same level with other people who are going to the places you want to go to.  JMS is pretty small and so what this gives you is a chance to do is think about like ‘how do I compare to all the other students in California’ and then hopefully it sets you up for ‘how do I get access to more things in the future.'”

According to Ms. Gutierrez, “No, this test has nothing to do with- you know based on your score will you pass English or will you pass math- this test is completely just an assessment just to see where you’re at in your level of- that you need to be in English or math, but it’s not a pass or fail or a graded or hold you back if you didn’t do well or anything like that.”

According to the Education Data Partnership, “The SBAC does not affect your grade in school. Test results are only available to the parents/guardians and can be obtained from the district or the school.”

Each part of the test has a different score range that varies based on the grade level you are in. Like said before, the SBAC is just to show what you are able to do in English and math.


Why can’t we choose our Enrichment Blocks?

According to Ms. Perez, “I think that there are some things that I would love to be able to have let students choose their blocks on. I thought about it this year for electives but there is also supposed to be a rule that I have to try to follow which is your proctor is not supposed to be the teacher who teaches you that class. That makes it hard but I think that it would be great especially if people could pick their electives. Like if some teachers were doing chess and that is what you wanted to have your block on and let them pick I’m not opposed to it, I mean that can happen in the future.”

According to Ms. Gutierrez, ” You can’t choose you blocks because there are many students and I believe the way the schedule is made they have to be able to have only a certain amount of students that can take the test at a certain time so the other students have to be divided among the other classes. So the problem, you know, you may run into when someone says, ‘Let me pick my block’ is that you might have- let’s say you have 50 kids who want to take one class at a certain time but there is not enough room for them, so we have to kinda even up the schedule, the case load among, you know, how many kids in each class.'”

We can’t choose our enrichment blocks because a certain number of students have to be in a class or else the class would be uneven. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Eulalia Baltazar, staff writer

Comments (0)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *