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Aurora Institute

State policymakers have the opportunity to rethink the purpose and role of assessments with flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Assessment is essential for students and educators to provide multiple forms of evidence of student learning. Under ESSA, states now have increased flexibility to redesign their systems of assessments to better align to student-centered learning, allowing educators to focus on meeting students where they are so all can flourish. Balanced systems of assessments give educators the tools to check for understanding in real time, to track student progress, to design personalized interventions, and to assess mastery of standards and competencies in fair and transparent ways. Developing and supporting educator assessment literacy are essential.


  • Convene a task force on balanced systems of assessments to rethink the purpose and role of assessment in education systems.
  • Support the development of assessment literacy, performance assessments, and collaborative models and processes for increased reliability in evaluating student work.
Related COntent

Issue Brief

November 1, 2017

Redesigning Systems of Assessments for Student-Centered Learning

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick

Issue Brief

December 1, 2017

Rethinking State Accountability to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning in K-12 Education

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Natalie Truong, Susan Patrick


January 1, 2018

Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Natalie Truong, Susan Patrick