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Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Policy Status and Authority
Sectors with a multiple measures policy: 2 Year Sector
Policy Status: In Place
The policy is based on (statute, regulation and/or system policy):

Statute (Title 28B, Chapter 28B.50, Section 090) and institutional agreement on the use of Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC)

When the policy was first adopted: Statute passed in 2013; Smarter Balanced agreement in 2014
Is the policy mandatory or optional? The Smarter Balanced agreement has been adopted across institutions
Do the measures vary or are they uniform across campuses?

Vary

Do the measures vary or are they uniform across degrees/pathways?

Potential math placement options vary based on the Smarter Balanced cut score (e.g., a score of 3 allows for pre-calculus placement but a score of 2 does only allows for placement in courses such as statistics)

What subjects are using multiple measures for placement?
  • english
  • math
Measures Included in the Policy
Measures required to be accepted for placement under the multiple measures policy: Standardized Tests Smarter Balanced (SBAC)
High School Achievement Measures Course grades
Non-Cognitive Measures and Essays None
Measures optional or recommended to be accepted for placement under the multiple measures policy: Standardized Tests None
High School Achievement Measures Statute: “High school transcripts” SBAC Agreement: The use of a transcript, high school GPA, and additional testing is institutionally determined in some cases.
Non-Cognitive Measures and Essays None
If a statewide high school standards-based assessment is included, is it aligned to the Common Core?

All of the community and technical colleges agreed to use Smarter Balanced assessment for placement purposes. The policy will apply to the high school graduating classes of 2016 to 2018; the policy will be reviewed in winter 2018 based on student performance data.

Were cut scores for the measures determined by the system or state?

Yes (English and Math Smarter Balanced scores are included in policy)

The placement process using these measures:

The board is charged with “encourage[ing] colleges to use multiple measures to determine whether a student must enroll in a precollege course including, but not limited to, placement tests, the SAT, high school transcripts, college transcripts, or initial class performance.”

However, with the agreement to use the Smarter Balanced Assessment, high school course grades were included as measures, along with additional institutionally determined assessments (i.e., high school transcript and GPA, additional testing, etc.); see Table 1 below.

Multiple measures policy documents:
Were cut scores for the measures determined by the system or state?

Table 1: Smarter Balanced (SBAC) Placement Scores and Options

Notes:

  1. For all levels in math, placement into more advanced courses than designated in the agreement will depend on additional local institutional placement processes (transcript, high school GPA, additional testing, etc.).
  2. For math, colleges may require additional placement information for initial entry into college-level math courses beginning in the winter term of the entry year following high school graduation.
  3. For English, colleges may require additional placement information for initial entry into college-level courses beginning in the summer term following the first academic year after high school graduation.
  4. For both math and English individual colleges may also extend the time period for honoring the scores for placement.
  5. Any algebra-based courses in the high school math course sequence (with Algebra 2 as a formal or informal prerequisite) qualify as “calculus pathway.”
  6. The Bridge to College course materials in math and English were pilot-tested in 2014-15 and are being offered at roughly 125 high schools across the state in 2015-16. An additional cohort of high schools will be added in 2016-17.