Recently Idaho State Department Chief of Staff, Luci Willits, announced in an interview with Idaho Ed News that the state is renaming the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s (SBAC’s) exam as “Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) 2.0”
I wrote Ms. Willits over this issue as I felt the name was inappropriate and misleading. In my letter I evaluated why I feel the rebranding is a poor decision; namely that the new name conveys that the exam is assessing the old Idaho Content Standards, not the new Common Core Standards, and that the new name perhaps conveys that Idaho has left the Consortium, which isn’t true.
Ms. Willits was kind enough to provide a timely reply to my email today. Her response, in full, is posted below.
Thanks for your feedback Levi. You bring up great points. We have struggled with the best description for the test, as we have never named our state assessment based on the vendor. In this case, we are part of a consortium, as well as having a vendor to deliver the test. Therefore, it seemed logical to continue to call the test the ISAT, as it measures our standards. You have made me think about this from a few new angles. I think this is very fluid. Thanks again for your thoughts. –Luci
Chief of Staff
State Department of Education
I have taught school for 53 years, and am very familiar with both tests, and it is very, very
misleading to rename the Smarter Balance test a second generation Isat. It is confusing,
and certainly misrepresents the big changes the SB test brings. Honesty is a good policy,
so I would definitely reconsider!