Smarter Balanced has developed an inclusive, collaborative process for drafting initial achievement level descriptors (ALDs) in collaboration with K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, and content experts. Governing States will nominate four K-12 educators—two for ELA/literacy and two for mathematics at various grade spans—to participate in an ALD drafting workshop in October. In addition, Higher Education Leads will nominate two faculty members (one with experience in ELA/literacy and one with experience in mathematics). From this group, a total of 53 representatives will be selected for the October workshop. Every Governing State will have at least one K-12 and one higher education representative participating in the workshop. Those not selected will have an early opportunity to review the draft ALDs.
Just as important as reaching consensus among member states on the ALDs is reaching consensus within states between K-12 and higher education. A two-month period from mid-November through mid-January will allow states to vet the ALDs with stakeholders at all levels.