Curriculum-Based Assessment

Cruz, Loren


Jones, C. J., SOUTHERN, W. T., & BRIGHAM, F. J. (1998). Curriculum-based    assessment. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.* Google Scholar.

Click to access 5745e15408aea45ee8560f42.pdf

This article focuses on the features of curriculum-based assessment (CBA) that are universal to all approaches in teaching and testing, and how they contribute the most to effective instructional outcomes.  CBA is seen as a process of evaluation between instruction and student performance outcomes.  This involves identifying parts of the curriculum that are vital indicators of student achievement, measuring the changes in those parts and how they effect performance, displaying the results of those outcomes, and then using the data to make instructional decisions.  Throughout the process, teachers must be observing the nature of the content being presented, and how students respond to it.  From there, teachers can make adjustments to the curriculum to help students reach the intended goal.  CBA is also beneficial to the consultation and collaboration efforts when addressing learning difficulties of individual students.  Conducting CBAs involves selecting meaningful target behaviors, ongoing collection of performance data and evaluation of instruction effectiveness, and modification of instruction.

This article did a great job at describing curriculum-based assessment, while mentioning the importance of collaboration among teachers.  It talked about how the content and the way it is presented impacts the assessment results, and vice versa.  It also did well by mentioning the importance of pre-assessments of what students already know, so that they know what can be worked on.

The End of Points: Using points to measure achievement may seem fair and objective, but it can hide critical information about student learning

DeMonte, Jennifer


Feldman, J. (2018). The end of points: Using points to measure achievement may seem fair and objective, but it can hide critical information about student learning. Educational Leadership, 75(5), 36-40.

This article puts forth a solid argument for moving to standards-based grading. The author uses several hypothetical situations to illustrate how using a point-based system obscures what students actually have or haven’t learned. He also explains that using a standards-based approach to assessment helps in the design of assessments themselves, and he provides examples that show how educators can encourage students to use reflection for personal growth.

The article is great fodder for starting a conversation among colleagues. It makes a cogent case for standards-based grading that should make even the most traditional teachers think twice.

Classroom Assessments

Bader, Devorah

CA – Curriculum and Assessments

Conderman, G. & Hedin, L. (2012). Classroom assessments that inform instruction. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(4), 162-168. doi: 10.1080/00228958.2012.733964 Retrieved from

Summary/Abstract: Many techniques are suggested to gather continuous formative student assessment data and adjust instruction accordingly.

This is a very well written and useful article that gives concrete examples of many types of formative assessments and how to integrate them into a unit of learning.  It also touches on rules for creating assessment questions either in a formative assessment or summative assessment (i.e. multiple choice, T/F questions, etc.).



Harvard’s Project Zero

Galang, Johnny


Harvard Graduate School of Education (2018). Homepage. Retrieved from

Project Zero is a comprehensive website with many resources for curriculum development, assessment, and a wealth of other topics. There are free tools and education around topics such as essential questions, deep learning, and developing a culture of thinking.

It may be overwhelming to someone who is new to educational theory, but can provide useful tools to push your practice further.

A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of Evidence-based Practices

A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of Evidence-based Practices

Elias, Jenann

Bondie, R. (2015). A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of
Evidence-based Practices. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 34(1), 23-29.

The author, Rhonda Bondie, presents a solution to the challenge of assessing candidate teachers who are learning online. This solution is called Project REACH, which is a free online digital teaching platform.

The platform is learner centered which allows for collaboration, and support is available at any time, 24 by 7.

This paper seems more of an instruction sheet on using this platform. The learning path for teacher candidate steps are:

  1. Learn Evidence-based practice (EBP). The website includes resources for 67 EBP’s. A teacher candidate uses resources developed by others to “develop knowledge about specific EBPs and guides for classroom implementation.”
  2. Plan instruction, using learning and collaborate tools on the website. Invite other Project REACH users to collaborate on instructional plans. This includes:
    1. Unpack curriculum standards
    2. Develop multiple assessments
    3. Design differential lesson plans
    4. Apply Universal Design for Learning
    5. A field-test report
    6. Analysis of student work
  3. Reflect on impact. Field test. Upload and annotate student work. Track student progress.
  4. Share accomplishments. Earn “badges”. Learn, share, and add badges throughout career.
The website is: and much of the article I read includes screen captures and “how-to” instructions.

Why Standardized Tests Don’t Measure Educational Quality

Kira Koop

CA – Curriculum Assessment

Popham, W. J. (1999). Why standardized tests don’t measure educational quality. Educational Leadership, 56(6), 8-15.
Find it here:’t-Measure-Educational-Quality.aspx

This article, though dating to 1999, outlines the disconnect between what standardized tests evaluate and what the student learns. It’s a good primer to learn some of the goals of a standardized test – to make relative inferences about a student’s abilities – while also providing a critique of their methods. Popham uses examples to illustrate that in some cases, the tests may be evaluating students in areas where their socioeconomic status has more influence on their question answers than what the teacher has taught. For instance, in a question that states that all fruits have seeds, and which of the following plants is not a fruit, a child in a place of privilege will know that pumpkins have seeds, and celery does not. However, a child whose parents or guardians have never brought a pumpkin or celery home would not know, and so may give an incorrect answer.

As a resource, this was a good introduction to the critique of standardized testing. I’ve heard several teachers express dismay and frustration about the role of the federal government in education, but this article gave me concrete ideas on which to base my understanding of those frustrations. 

Legislation Influences Curriculum Development

Alpers, Jessica

CA-Curriculum Assessment

Robinson, G. (1961). Legislation Influences Curriculum Development.Educational Leadership, 19, 26-30.

Summary: This article begins with a discussion on how “authority for regulating both the content and conduct of public education in the United States resides in the state legislatures.” Most states have given power to the school boards, however. These bodies all give input in what subject matter is taught in public schools, especially in history, health, and safety. These bodies also set rules to prohibit the teaching of certain subjects, such as subjects that are religious in Utah or the facts of birth control in Michigan. The discussion continues by describing how some states set lists of subjects that must be taught, then gives a history of how curriculum legislation evolved in the first half of the 20th century. The second half of the article gives a long discussion about financing and finance legislation.

Evaluation: While this article is over 50 years old, I believe is gives some good information. It is a good article for beginning research in this area as it gives good background knowledge. I felt that the finance section was a bit off topic, but that is because I was primarily looking for information about curriculum and subject matter. The discussion was still very informative.

The Every Student Succeeds Act: An ESSA Overview

Hudson, Evelyn


Klein, A. (2016, March 31). The every student succeeds act: An ESSA overview. Retrieved from

This article gives an excellent overview of the ESSA for those who are unfamiliar with it. The article breaks down the ESSA into different parts such as “Accountability Goals” and “Testing” to clearly explain the coming changes. There are also videos in several sections for those who need additional explanation.
As someone who knew nothing about the ESSA before this course, I feel much more knowledgeable after reading this article. I appreciated the use of text and videos to really drive the concepts home.