Re-Balancing Assessment: Placing Formative and Performance Assessment at the Heart of Learning and Accountability

From the overview: "we call for replacing our current, unbalanced formula of summative assessments and external pressure with a new, more balanced formula for assessment and accountability centered around curriculum-embedded performance assessments or CEPAs—classroom-based instructional units that provide multiple opportunities for learning and both formative and summative evidence-gathering. Done well, CEPAs can harness the power of real-time feedback, personalized learning, and real-world application to help students develop requisite foundational knowledge and deeper learning. Moreover, as we will discuss, CEPAs may be used for summative, including state accountability, purposes. While they are not a silver bullet, CEPAs could drive many other beneficial changes in the education system, including better classroom practice, more motivating and engaging school environments, and greater professional collaboration among educators. Perhaps most promising, CEPAs could undergird a state-level accountability system that measures what matters most: the extent to which students are developing and demonstrating the kinds of deeper learning they will need for success in college, career, and life." 

Content Comments 

This resource can be useful for educators at all levels with its accessible description of a balanced assessment system. It is of high quality in that it provides solutions for bridging the achievement gap through curriculum-embedded performance assessments (CEPA). The resource clearly communicates its message that CEPAs should be at the center of a balanced assessment system, and that CEPAs can serve both formative and summative purposes. This resource has the potential to have a positive impact on student outcomes as a tool for states, schools, and districts to balance their assessment systems.