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Smarter Balanced test delayed

Updated 3:44 pm, Friday, March 14, 2014
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Darien school administrators are rapidly working to revise the Smarter Balanced testing schedule following a conference call with Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor this morning.

The testing dates, according to Interim Superintendent Lynne Pierson, were delayed from March 18 to March 25.

"We were informed that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium made this decision late last evening based on the need to ensure proper administration of the field test on a national basis," according to an email from Pierson.

The change in date will affect the district's testing calendar, Pierson said, and the extent of the impact is being determined by Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Tim Canty and other involved staff.

The conference call included Connecticut superintendents.

Pierson said a modified testing calendar will be established no later than Monday, March 17.

"Obviously we are seeking to establish a revised schedule that will have the least impact on our students and schools," Pierson said.

The greatest concern, Pierson said, is how the delay in the Smarter Balanced test will interfere with the Advanced Placement and SAT tests at the high school.

"Staff is making every effort to resolve this situation prior to the end of the today so that (Darien High School) staff, students and parents can be informed.

The Smarter Balanced Field Tests are being administered as districts implement the Common Core State Standards, which call for reading and math to be covered more deeply and in a different order than in the past. Forty-five states adopted the standards. Connecticut adopted the standards in 2010.

But Connecticut teachers are apprehensive to the new test.

In late February, the Connecticut Education Association, which represents 43,000 teachers, released a survey of its membership that found 97 percent support a moratorium on the Smarter Balanced Assessments that go along with the new standards.

The Smarter Balanced test will replace the Connecticut Mastery Test.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews