The Wyoming Department of Education announced on Monday that they are leaving the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
They were an affiliate member of the Consortium having reverted to that status in 2014 after joining as a governing member, and the department said they are leaving so they can procure another test without the perception of having a conflict.
“Wyoming’s affiliation with SBAC raises red flags for me as we consider a new statewide assessment,” said Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow. “Any real or perceived conflict, such as with SBAC, detracts from securing the most appropriate assessment for Wyoming students.”
“The Every Student Succeeds Act provides Wyoming with a unique opportunity. We expect a statewide assessment that is configurable, comparable, and affordable. Classroom and district assessments give us the best information about how students are succeeding from day to day, while a statewide or summative assessment is a broader look at how students are doing from year to year and how our state is doing compared to others,” Balow added.
Contracts with Wyoming’s current vendors for statewide assessments in grades 3-10 expire January 1, 2018. A Request for Proposals will be issued in the fall of 2016 for a vendor for statewide assessments in grades 3-10.
It is entirely possible that Wyoming could still end up with Smarter Balanced, or a vendor tied to Smarter Balanced. For instance Iowa had pulled out of the consortium only to have the assessment task force and the Iowa State Board of Education push Smarter Balanced. The Iowa Legislature has delayed the implementation of Smarter Balanced until July of 2017, but it could be addressed next legislative session as well.
You can read their letter to Smarter Balanced below: