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Superintendent Juneau Announces Increase In Smarter Balanced Test Scores

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau has announced students’ scores on the 2016 Smarter Balanced assessment increased in both math and English/language arts.

“All Montana students deserve a quality education and we know great work is happening in our schools each and every day,”Superintendent Juneau said. “We’ve raised the academic bar for our students so they’re better prepared for college and careers. Over time, students will rise to meet the challenge. This annual assessment is just one measure teachers and school leaders have to evaluate student progress, it is certainly not the final arbiter of success in Montana’s public schools.”

Nearly 98 percent of all public school students in grades 3-8 took the Smarter Balanced assessment last spring, just the second year of participating in a computer adaptive test aligned to Montana’s more-rigorous math and English/language arts standards. Eleventh grade students took the ACT instead of Smarter Balanced, cutting testing time for those students by two-thirds.

Because the Smarter Balanced test is aligned to Montana’s new math and English/language arts standards, results are not comparable to previous statewide assessments.

2015/2016 Smarter Balanced Results – Statewide Average

  • 41 percent of students tested proficient or above in math, up from 38
  • 50 percent of students test proficient or above in English/language arts, up from 45 percent in 2014/2015

Find results by grade, school or district, here.



Spotlight On:

Montana’s Board Of Public Education Adopts New Standards In Health, Arts

Following Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau’s recommendation, the Montana Board of Public Education has adopted new content standards for health enhancement and arts.

Content standards for the two subject areas have not been updated since 1999. Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do by grade level or band, but standards do not define specific curriculum or materials used in the classroom.

“Since 2011, we’ve continued to raise the bar for what our students are expected to learn,” Superintendent Juneau said. “I’m pleased the Board has adopted these new, more-rigorous standards in health enhancement and physical education, and arts so that our students are better prepared for college and their careers.”

In 2011, the Board adopted Montana’s more-rigorous math and English standards.

Click here to watch a brief video explaining the changes to the health enhancement and physical education standards. Click here to watch a brief video explaining the changes to the arts standards.

The new standards in health enhancement and arts will be implemented in classrooms across Montana beginning in 2017. By this fall, educators will have access to free online learning tools and conference materials to begin preparing for the transition to the new standards.