Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Race to the Top Assessment Projects

Assessment Projects in the Teaching and Learning System (TLS)

The teaching and learning system in our RTTT proposal calls for the deployment of two related assessment projects designed to provide local educators with tools to enact high-quality classroom and district instruction. Model Curriculum Units (MCU) with curriculum-embedded performance assessments (CEPA) will provide educators with exemplars of high-quality curriculum-embedded assessments to use in classrooms. The Online Interim and Formative Assessment System (OIF) will provide educators with tools for administering a variety of assessments and for using results to inform instruction and curricular decisions. Each of these components is described in further detail below.

Curriculum-Embedded Performance Assessments (CEPA) in Model Curriculum Units (MCU)

The MCU and CEPA in the teaching and learning system are intended to support teachers statewide by providing them with high-quality curriculum units, lesson plans, and CEPA that will enrich instructional practices while instituting authentic, reliable assessment practices across classrooms. CEPA will be designed to measure multiple standards simultaneously, including standards that have traditionally been difficult to measure in an on-demand test, and to elicit complex student demonstrations or applications of knowledge and skills (e.g., scientific investigations, research papers, oral presentations, and interdisciplinary projects). These CEPA will be conducted in the classroom over time (multiple days) in English language arts, mathematics, science and technology/engineering, and history and social science. Coupling CEPA with MCAS will create a more inclusive assessment system that will incorporate standards that have been historically hard-to-assess on a large-scale test. Our goal is to build on our work in developing MCU and CEPA by introducing this new model of performance assessment in MCAS across content areas.

Online Interim and Formative Assessment System (OIF)

The OIF component of the teaching and learning system will help improve student learning outcomes by providing educators with timely, targeted assessments of student performance that link student data and student resources to assessment results. The OIF will feature:

  • a test builder to create and customize assessments;
  • item banks that contain thousands of high-quality state-released items and locally vetted items;
  • a flexible item creation tool;
  • easy-to-use, customizable reports.

Educators may use the OIF to create myriad formative assessments (including CEPA) to support and differentiate instruction at the classroom level and interim assessments to monitor student outcomes at the school and district level. The OIF will further allow educators to share best assessment practices across the state through the sharing of items, assessments, and curriculum-specific assessment practices.

Last Updated: January 19, 2012
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact DESE