Fascinating look at the work being done at Smarter Balance over at Catherine Gewertz column Two Versions of Common Test Eyed by State Consortium.
First - the most important thing for all those states rights peeps to take away - THE STATES ARE MAKING ALL THE DECISIONS. This is not being driven by the feds AT ALL. Both Smarter Balance and PARCC have to get consensus from their governing states on ALL aspects for the assessment programs. That is a huge challenge. This is truly a state driven process.
In this case the decision from SBAC is to have to versions of the assessments for states to use. To truly get useful data, some of the assessments could take up to 6.5 hours for grades 3-5 and 7 hours in 6-8 grade and 8 hours for high school.
PARCC is not thinking about two versions but you can see why the long version of the test could be a problem.
Fascinating to watch as state leaders (NOT federal leaders) wrestle with making these the absolute best assessments to truly understand student learning and the practical problems of running a school.