Publications & Resources

Comprehensive Standards-Based Assessment Systems Supporting Learning

Jan 2018

Joan Herman

This brief is intended to provide a common foundation by laying out a general framework for a comprehensive, learning-based assessment system. The framework incorporates different types of assessment to serve the distinct information needs of different stakeholders, but all of the assessments are closely coordinated. This coordination ensures uniform focus and strategic action across levels to fuel students’ achievement of state college and career ready standards (CCRS).

The brief starts with consideration of the role of assessment in improving learning and then examines the various types and levels of assessment that constitute a coherent, balanced, learning-based system of assessment. The system enables stakeholders at every level to utilize a common cycle of assessment-driven, continuous improvement, with each cycle focused on different levels of evidence and action. The brief closes with consideration of essential prerequisites to achieving the framework vision, including high quality assessment tools, effective use of assessment to improve learning, and system supports for both.

Herman, J. (2016). Comprehensive standards-based assessment systems supporting learning. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).