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At SCALE Science, we are commited to using performance-based assessments as part of a multiple-measures system for evaluating student learning.  Our research has shown that perfomance-based assessments provide educators with critical information about students'  thinking and reasoning skills while also supporting student learning and growth. 

As part of SCALE's mission, SCALE Science aims to improve science instruction and learning through the design and development of innovative, educative, and state-of-the-art performance-based assessments and by building the capacity of schools to use these assessments in thoughtful ways, to promote student, teacher, and organizational learning.

SCALE Science focuses on developing short performance assessments and instructionally-embedded assessments that are NGSS-designed/aligned, three-dimensional, and contextualized within observable phenomena.

Guiding Design Principles - SCALE Science assessments:

  • Use real-world phenomenon that students have to make sense of OR an engineering design problem that students need to solve.
  • Establish a set of explicit student expectations to maintain transparency and rigor.
  • Use multi-dimensional criteria aligned to the following aspects of the Next Generation Science Standards:
    • Performance Expectations
    • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    • Crosscutting Concepts
    • Science and Engineering Practices
  • Incorporate the design of question-specific multi-dimensional rubrics to assess student knowledge and skills.
  • Permit teachers to use assessment data to inform future instruction.


Instructionally Embedded Assessments

Instructionally embedded assessments (IEAs) fall into two categories:

  • Culminating projects that follow longer instructional units spanning 5-7 Performance Expectations
  • Shorter assessments integrated into a unit spanning 2-3 Performance Expectations

Learn about IEAs

Short Performance Assessments

Short performance assessments (SPAs) act as single tasks, occuring outside the curriculum, that are designed to assess one Performance Expectation.

Learn About SPAs



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.

Contact us