North Carolina’s SBAC ‘Status’ Change

In case you missed it, at some point, North Carolina went from being a ‘Governing’ state to an ‘Affiliate’ state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

When and why this happened depends on who you ask.

I contacted the NC Department of Public Instruction and was told the change occurred in Spring 2014, when North Carolina did not participate in the ‘full’ SBAC test. (See the email exchange.)

I say ‘full’ test, because DPI did managed to run an SBAC pilot or ‘field’ test instead. I still am waiting on the information of how that pilot test was paid for and what the notification to parents looked like.  It’s now been over 6 months since my first inquiry to DPI on those items.

At roughly the same time, I contacted the SBAC and asked the same question. The response I received was that it was the result of an MOU not being signed:

Nicole Siegel <> Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 2:11 PM
To: Lily Liberty <>
Hello –
After North Carolina decided to not sign the MOU with UCLA, we switched their affiliation with Smarter Balanced. I’d recommend connecting with the Department of Public Instruction in NC to ask when they made the decision to not use Smarter Balanced this year.


This was a very different answer than NC DPI’s gave. I sent back a reply to the SBAC representative asking for the exact date range, but have yet to hear back.

So when did the change really happen?  I can only approximate a range sometime between October 18, 2014 and January 20, 2015 based on screenshots of the SBAC website using the Internet Way Back Machine.

What was the real reason? Still unknown. Transparency!

By the way…
I recently wrote about Lamar Alexander, the ESEA reauthorization and Alexander’s ‘education’ history as it pertains to ‘education’ entities like the American Institute for Research (AIR).

Part of the reauthorization is continued mandated high-stakes testing and the data that comes from it.   It might interest people to know that the SBAC and Alexander’s pals, AIR are partnered on the testing front.

Related:  US Dept of Ed Wanted Much More Testing from PARCC and SBAC

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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