Measured Progress and McREL Call for a New, More Balanced Formula for Assessment Using Curriculum-Embedded Performance Assessments

DENVER—February 19, 2015—Leaders from two national education organizations focused on assessment, research, and instructional practice are calling for a fundamental rebalancing of the formula schools use to assess students by placing greater emphasis on the use of curriculum-embedded performance assessments, or CEPAs.

“Educators, parents, students, and policymakers are voicing growing frustration with the current models of high-stakes assessments used across the United States, which rely too heavily on low-level end-of-year tests,” said Bryan Goodwin, president and CEO of McREL International, and co-author of the new white paper, Re-Balancing Assessment: Placing Formative and Performance Assessment at the Heart of Learning and Accountability.

Goodwin and co-authors Stuart Kahl, founding principal of Measured Progress, and Peter Hofman, an independent consultant and former Measured Progress executive, assert that “CEPAs provide a better solution for engaging students in their learning and for measuring their progress toward 21st century academic goals.”

In their paper, the authors describe CEPAs—classroom-based instructional units that provide multiple opportunities for learning and both formative and summative evidence-gathering—and how they support high-level teaching and learning. They also present an outline of how states can phase in the use of CEPAs in accountability systems and reduce the emphasis on end-of-year summative assessments.

Ray Pecheone, co-director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity, calls the paper “a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in balancing and aligning formative and summative assessment and looking for new ideas and strategies that are practical, smart, and provocative, and that can change the face of accountability and student learning—putting teachers and students at the center of reform.”

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