Skip to content Skip to navigation


Female teacher using a skeleton model to teach a table of four female students.
Photo by EDUimages (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Why We Do What We Do

We believe in equitable access and outcomes for all students. Through our research, we have found that this goal can be achieved through a combination of performance-based curriculum and assessment resources, accompanied by professional development. The resources we have developed are based on design criteria shown to effectively support support student learning in science content and practices as well as well as language development.

Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks

Our curriculum and assessment frameworks are both grounded in a performance-based approach. This means all tasks and assessments are contextualized within real-life phenomena to address and assess the application of knowledge, as well as skills.

A performance-based approach thus lends itself well to alignment with the current Next Generation Science Standards. NGSS aligns with our vision in which students use their science knowledge to make sense of the world around them, solve problems, and design solutions.

Each of our curricular units and assessments is designed to elicit and develop an understanding of all three dimensions—disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts—as students tackle complex real-world issues.

In addition, all curriculum materials and assessments are specifically designed for a broad range of abilities, allowing for various entry points so students can both access the curriculum or assessment and display both their knowledge and skills. Within our curriculum framework, we aim to provide students with a range of language supports and opportunities for structured groupwork. In doing so, we acknowledge that language development and the co-construction of ideas are key components to supporting more rigorous and equitable outcomes for diverse students.

Curriculum Assessment

For more information on professional development around assessment, visit our professional development page. If you are interested in SCALE-developed assessments, or need help developing your own assessments, please contact us.

A group of elementary students examine the plants in their school garden.