The California State University (CSU) and many California community colleges will adopt the Smarter Balanced assessments to measure college readiness and make decisions regarding students’ placement into first-year writing courses. The CSU has incorporated the Smarter Balanced assessments into its Early Assessment Program as a tool to exempt students in their junior and senior years of high school from taking the CSU English Placement Test (EPT).
Although the Smarter Balance assessments are aligned with the California Common Core Standards and include extended responses on performance-based tasks and not just multiple-choice items, the use of Smarter Balanced assessments for college placement moves assessment and placement of writing further away from control by college writing teachers, since the test it will replace–the EPT—was designed and scored by CSU writing teachers. The use of the Smarter Balanced tests also fails to take into account the growth of stretch composition courses and Directed Self-Placement across CSU campuses. Most CSU campuses that have eliminated remediation in favor of Directed-Self Placement into two-semester credit-bearing stretch composition courses no longer use the EPT as a placement tool, so those campuses will also have no need for the Smarter Balanced assessments as a tool to measure college readiness.
More information about the adoption of the Smarter Balanced assessments by the CSU and California community colleges can be found at the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium website: