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Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity


The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) provides technical consulting and support to schools and districts that have committed to adopting performance-based assessment as part of a multiple-measures system for evaluating student learning and measuring school performance. SCALE's mission is to improve instruction and learning through the design and development of innovative, educative, state-of-the-art performance assessments and by building the capacity of schools to use these assessments in thoughtful ways, to promote student, teacher, and organizational learning.

SCALE's areas of work include:

  • Working with Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs), schools and districts to develop performance assessment tasks,
  • Establishing and overseeing scoring procedures,
  • Providing professional development to support teachers and students, and
  • Conducting research to support the reliability and validity of the assessment system.


How SCALE Supports Implementation of LDC Tools

SCALE has created a rigorous jurying process for LDC modules that is central to helping LDC teachers: (1) share high-quality Common Core-aligned exemplary modules across the LDC community of practice, (2) create a standard, accurate process for reviewing modules and providing teachers with actionable feedback for revision, (3) establish professional learning experiences for LDC teachers and coaches, and (4) support calibration around the quality of teacher work.

SCALE’s jurying rubric and training materials support educators using LDC by providing tools and protocols for reflecting on the quality of their own modules and for structuring constructive peer review in local LDC communities of practice.


Experience With LDC

SCALE initially began its collaboration with LDC in 2011 through the revision of the LDC scoring rubrics to their current form. In 2011-12, SCALE and Measured Progress Inc. partnered to design and pilot a scorer training module and to create a bank of anchor papers at varying grade levels across content areas.  In 2012-13, SCALE and Measured Progress refined the scorer training protocol and equipped local facilitators to train their own local teachers. SCALE is also completing a study—“Student Growth Study”—in two LDC sites, exploring the viability of using LDC writing tasks as measures of student learning and growth.


LDC Partner News

The Common Assignment Study is a long-term study of teachers in two states designing instructional units together—based on LDC modules—led by the Colorado Education Initiative and The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participating teachers will develop and teach two instructional units per year that exemplify the content knowledge and skills embedded in the Colorado Academic Standards and Kentucky Core Academic Standards.

Research partners involved in the project include the Center 
for Assessment, Westat, Research for Action, and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE)—which is facilitating the work of the teachers. The education departments in both states are also participating in the project. 

Read the Research For Action Executive Summary (September 2014):
Using Common Assignments to Strengthen Teaching and Learning: Research on the 1st Year of Implementation


SCALE Research Reports

Assessing What Matters: Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) Writing Tasks as Measures of Student Learning

This report, published by SCALE in July 2015, is based on a paper presented at the 
2015 Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association. The report examines results from a 2012–2013 study of instructionally-embedded performance assessments: Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) writing tasks.


Contact SCALE

Nicole Renner:

Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity
Littlefield Management Center, Stanford University
365 Lasuen St.
Stanford, CA 94305-2068

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