State Testing / OAKS / SBAC

What do those letters mean, anyway?!

SBAC stands for “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium”
This is the set of tests most schools in Oregon, along with about 12 other states, use to measure student mastery of concepts in their designated grade level. Dallas School District, under whom our charter operates, requests that all students grades 3-8 take this set of tests each year. By comparing the test results year to year, they can measure growth and mastery, and can determine what areas need extra attention.
The SBAC is divided into four part: Two subtests in ELA (English and Language Arts/ Literacy), and two subtests in Mathematics.
The four subtest your student will be asked to take are:
ELA CAT  (English and Language Arts/ Literacy – Computer Adaptive Testing)
ELA PT (English and Language Arts/ Literacy – Performance Test)
MATH CAT (Math – Computer Adaptive Testing)
MATH PT (Math – Performance Test)
What’s the difference in a CAT test and a PT test?
A CAT test is computer adaptive, meaning the test adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment based on the student’s response. If a student answers a question correctly, the next question will be harder; if a student answers incorrectly, the next question will be easier. Most of these questions will be multiple choice or short answer.
PT is a performance test. 
The ELA PT questions are all scenario-driven: the task is presented in the form of a simulated real-life situation. The beginning questions are short answer, based on a passage the students read. Later they are asked to write an essay. The type of essay written could be narrative, informational, opinion, (elementary) or argumentative. (middle
The Math PT asks students to solve more complex problems. The problems may have several parts, and they may be asked to state arguments to support their own reasoning.

You may see the acronym OAKS associated with these tests as well. OAKS stands for Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The Math and language arts tests (SBAC) are housed under OAKS. But OAKS contains an additional test in science. Only students in grades 5 and 8 will take the additional Science test. Questions on this test cover physical science, life science and earth science. The questions are in multiple choice format.