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Balanced Assessment
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Please Note: Balanced Assessment printed materials are available from this site, except for those indicated below. Please use the order form and follow the ordering directions carefully as they have changed. Current prices can be found on our order form.

Please also note that the Balanced Assessment Primary & Elementary Tasks have been published by Corwin Press. The Balanced Assessment Transition & Middle School Tasks have been published by Teachers' College Press. These tasks may still be viewed in .pdf format on this website but they may not be copied or printed.

About the Balanced Assessment Program

In 1993 the National Science Foundation funded a mathematics assessment task development project, Balanced Assessment for the Mathematics Curriculum. In addition to the project team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education there were groups at the University of California, Michigan State University, and the University of Nottingham. At Harvard we designed balanced collections of assessment tasks for both elementary and secondary mathematics. Since that time, Harvard Balanced Assessment materials have been purchased by school districts in 49 states, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand; some tasks have been translated into Spanish and Hebrew.

Following the design phase we entered the implementation phase of our program. With support from the Boston Public Schools, the Cambridge Public Schools, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Noyce Foundation, we brought the assessment tasks written at Harvard into classroom settings. In our initial visits the tasks were modeled for the classroom teachers, with the goal of preparing them to present the tasks themselves and to use this assessment as an ongoing part of their classroom instruction. In addition, a series of professional development workshops were presented to the participating teachers. These workshops were designed to (1) help teachers think reflectively about what is involved in mathematical performance; (2) assist teachers who are implementing new, standards-based curricula; (3) deepen and broaden teachers’ knowledge of mathematics; (4) link ongoing assessment with instructional decision-making; and (5) support teachers as they prepare their students for the wide range of tasks and formats involved in alternative assessment. Explicit connections were made to high-stakes testing and a wide variety of standards-based curricula; teachers received instruction in rubric writing, scoring, and task adaptation and design. Customized workshops were provided for administrators and curriculum specialists.

Through this comprehensive plan, we worked to:

We believe that the implementation of this plan has served as a powerful catalyst, not only to enlighten and change teaching practice, but also to inform and enhance student mathematical performance.

Last Update: 03/01/2015

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