Understanding Language/Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (UL-SCALE) is a recently merged research and practice center based at Stanford University that focuses on both language and performance assessment in K-16 settings. At UL-SCALE, our mission is to create more meaningful learning experiences for students—especially those who are underserved and English Learners—by supporting the coherent integration of language use, disciplinary learning and performance-based assessment in the classroom. UL-SCALE provides technical expertise and support to schools, districts, and states that have committed to adopting performance-based assessment as part of a multiple-measures system of assessments, and is a national leader in adapting curriculum, instruction, and assessment to address the language development needs of English Learners and all students.
UL-SCALE’s Performance Assessment Resource Bank was launched in autumn 2016, and highlights exemplary LDC teaching tasks, as well as disciplinary scoring rubrics that were developed by UL-SCALE content experts.
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.
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
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.
Ruth Chung Wei, firstname.lastname@example.org