What are the OAKS Smarter Balanced Assessments?

Oregon’s learning standards—what we want students to know and be able to do—are designed so students graduate ready for college and a career. The OAKS Smarter Balanced tests were created specifically to gauge each student’s performance in mathematics and English language arts as he or she develops—grade by grade—the skills called for by the standards, including the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems. Teachers, business leaders, and public colleges and universities all support these long-term learning goals, because they reflect what students need to be prepared for the career and college experiences that await them.

All of Oregon’s Students, One Common Yardstick

Every school is different, and each takes its own approach to teaching, learning, and assessing student progress. Results of any test should be considered along with other measures of learning and in consultation with a student’s teachers. Because OAKS Smarter Balanced Assessments are given statewide, they provide an opportunity to measure the skills of all students against the same academic standards in the same way. The results provide information schools can use to improve teaching and learning. Given that the online tests are computer adaptive—adapting difficulty of questions based on the student’s responses—OAKS Smarter Balanced Assessments provide a more precise measurement of individual skills.