Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Cycle


In the fall of 2013, MCCPS began the process of implementing a framework for a performance assessment cycle. The goal of the this cycle was to support educators in creating, implementing, and evaluating local performance assessments. This work was informed by the school's work with Center for Collaborative Education's Quality Performance Assessment Program and several schools throughout New England.

Why Performance Assessments?

Performance Assessment is a new generation of processes and tools designed to help educators and learners focus on deeper mastery of content and critical thinking, as required by the Common Core and other important standards and educational goals. (QPA Website, 2014)

With the increasing prevalence of state and nation-wide standardized testing, some classrooms undervalue the use of dynamic assessments. While standardized testing can provide useful data, it is often only one snapshot of a student's learning. The performance assessment cycle framework seeks to reclaim the importance of rich, complex local assessments. This framework also supports the teacher, as the professionals closest to the learners, in creating engaging tasks that challenge students to demonstrate their mastery of skills and content.

The Framework

The Instruction and Assessment Framework involves three interconnected areas:

  • Aligned Curriculum
  • Purposeful Instruction
  • Informed Assessment and Data Analysis

Each one of these areas has various tools, protocols, and activities that help educators determine the quality and effectiveness of their assessments and instruction. The goal is to put the educator at the center of the instructional and assessment life in the classroom. And to give them the tools, time, and support to achieve that goal.

MCCPS Performance Assessment Definition

Students apply their knowledge to demonstrate the depth of understanding of the standards. They are engaged in a multi-step process, guided by clear criteria, feedback, revision and reflection that moves them towards mastery.

(MCCPS Faculty, 2014)

In the fall of 2013, the MCCPS faculty crafted a definition of performance assessment that reflects the characteristics important to the school. This working definition led to a discussion of which assessments align with that definition. In order to better understand how this definition applied to our assessments we implement an Assessment Validation Protocol.

Aligned Curriculum and Instruction

Power Standards / Critical Areas (Math) / Anchor Standards (ELA) / Guiding Questions (History)

Quality Assessment Design

Assessment Validation Protocol

Depth of Knowledge Article

Informed Data Analysis

Data Inquiry Process

Formative Assessments