Committees forming for assessment system development

In the continuing process of developing a new assessment system, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has announced the next opportunity for Maine educators to participate.  As a governing member of SBAC, Maine is afforded the opportunity to invite educators to participate in the process of reviewing test items and performance tasks for the 2013 Pilot Test.

A total of 10,000 items and performance tasks are being developed for English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. These items and tasks will be reviewed for content, bias/sensitivity and accessibility.  Measured Progress, an assessment company, will process the applications and confirm selection.

1. Content review role:
Evaluate whether the items and tasks align with grade-level expectations, measure identified assessment targets, align with the specified levels of cognitive complexity, are clearly worded, have appropriate scoring information and are of appropriate grade-level difficulty.


  • Content expertise in ELA or mathematics
    • Currently certified or licensed K-12 public school educators in a Smarter Balanced governing state, or
    • Currently a higher education faculty member, or
    • Retired K-12 public school educators and other individuals who can provide evidence of ELA or mathematics expertise.

2. Bias/sensitivity review role:
Bias and sensitivity reviewers will examine items and performance tasks for potential sources of bias, sensitive issues and stereotypes.


  • Expertise in identifying potential sources of bias/sensitivity issues, and stereotypes related to one or more of the following: ethnicity, religion, culture, socio-economic status, geographic region and/or gender
  • Must have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree

3. Accessibility review role:
Accessibility reviewers will examine items and performance tasks for potential access barriers for students with disabilities and English language learners.


  • Expertise in identifying access barriers for one or more of the following: students who have has physical disabilities, visual impairments, are deaf or hard of hearing, or who are English language learners
  • Have expertise in Universal Design

Scope of work for each team:

Selected reviewers will complete a set of six to eight training modules. Each training module will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Some additional training may be required during the synchronous review of items. Item review training will take place in late August or early September, 2012.

After successful completion of training, reviewers will be assigned items and/or performance tasks to review. Reviewers will indicate whether each item or performance task is acceptable and, when it is not, provide a written explanation as to why it may be problematic. The reviews will take place during September and October 2012. Compensation will be provided for the successful completion of training modules and item review activities for time spent outside of normal educator working hours.

If you have ever served on an item review or bias and sensitivity review team for MEA or NECAP, you will recognize the description of the work.  All work, including training and item review, will take place electronically.  You will not travel to gather at a common location.  Please read the technical requirements carefully to assure that you have the technical capacity to do this work.

Technical requirements to assure that you can do this work:

Participants must have a secure work location where their work will not be observed by others.

In addition, participants will need to have the following:

  • Email address (organizational or personal). This should be an email address that you will be checking regularly.
  • Internet connection to support online meetings such as WebEx (, including local technical support with firewalls or other issues if required.
  • Telephone connection to support conference calls to a toll-free number.
  • Computer capability to support free Mozilla Firefox browser software (
  • Computer capability to support free Adobe Reader software (

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Registering does not guarantee selection.  There are only a few openings for each participating state.
  • You must meet all qualification requirements and be selected for participation.
  • You will be notified by Measured Progress, not Maine Department of Education, as to whether you have been selected.
  • Maine DOE serves as a pass-through for information but does not have access to applications.  Please be very careful as you complete the application, as mistakes will not be corrected.
  • The work will take place between late August and October 2012.
  • Participants will do this work outside of school hours unless released by the school.

This is an opportunity for Maine educators to participate in the process of developing a new assessment system.

Application deadline is June 25, 2012.

Resources and more information

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