Audits in the News: Smarter Balanced audit renews media interest in education test

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Audits Division recently released an audit in response to House Bill 2713, passed during the 2015 legislative session. The audit looked at the impacts of the Smarter Balanced assessment and identified some possible ways to improve upon the test.

You can read the entire audit online here.

Statesman Journal – Concerns about Smarter Balanced continue in new audit

Read the story here.

“State auditors said Smarter Balanced student assessments are confusing and unpopular, according to a new audit report. Though these concerns have come up in the past, the audit team now suggests a handful of things to improve the current system.”

The Portland Tribune – Audit: Oregon needs to get more out of expensive Smarter Balanced tests

Read the story here.

“Statewide school tests through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are nearly twice as expensive as the old tests, confusing to educators and time-consuming. That’s according to a new audit from the Oregon Secretary of State released today. The office of Jeanne Atkins conducted the audit in accordance with a bill passed by the 2015 legislature and sponsored by Portland-area Representatives Lew Frederick and Shemia Fagan.”

OPB – Oregon Audit: Smarter Balanced Exams Take Up Scarce Time, Resources

Read and listen to the story here.

“An Oregon audit of the state’s Smarter Balanced standardized exams found that the tests aren’t well understood, and that they take up scarce time and resources in schools. The legislature called for the audit of the Smarter Balanced exam – as teachers raised questions and many parents withdrew their kids from taking it. Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said state officials value the exams, often more than teachers and parents do.”

East Oregonian – Our view: State audits Smarter Balanced (Editorial)

Read the story here.

“The Oregon Department of Education should do more to address the concerns of educators and parents about Smarter Balanced testing and Common Core state standards. At least that’s what the Oregon Secretary of State argued Wednesday in releasing the results of a mandated state audit.

Jeanne Atkins reported there were problems with the test rollout and results, and ODE has not done a good enough job communicating the need for the test. And, Atkins said, it needs to better administer Smarter Balanced and address legitimate concerns about standardized testing in general.”