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BALANCED The Principles and Practices of Learning-Focused Assessment

Jay McTighe

Kevin Bartlett

The Balanced Assessment System, (BAS) is a global project driven by a commitment to reimagining assessment so that it focuses on serving learning rather than sorting learners. Two experienced educational innovators, Jay McTighe (Understanding by Design®) and Kevin Bartlett (The Common Ground Collaborative®), have joined forces to address this challenge. We believe that our work, while never finished, is now ‘good enough to criticize’ so we are inviting participants to engage with us in this work.

Curriculum Coordinator at The John Cooper School , Author and Consultant

Founder and CEO of gotLearning

Founder of Lead Inclusion and Clinical Professor

The Balanced Assessment System (BAS) emphasizes on-going formative assessments that provide feedback to teachers and learners, as a counterbalance to standardized, accountability tests and evaluative assessments. We use the term, ‘balanced’, for three reasons:


To EMPHASIZE the need to use a variety of types and formats of assessment (e.g., selected-response, performance-based, observational) in order to collect appropriate evidence of all valued learning goals


To RECOGNIZE that there are different purposes for assessment - diagnostic, formative and summative - and to support their use in ways that will improve learning, not just measure it.


To INCLUDE all learning stakeholders more deeply in the assessment process and, in particular, to raise the profile of students.

Our goal is to offer a coherent learner-centered assessment system that generates evidence of achieving valued learning goals while allowing students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

This work is complex, so to bring clarity to complexity we have framed our work around five Assessment Principles, so that we can already see the ‘shape’ of the work:

As we share our work more broadly, we have planned two ways to participate. Here are the details.


Purp ose

nt e Wen are m using a ‘flipped classroom’ approach. g i l AThe webinars provide the ‘content’. Then, at the

This collaboration will play out in two connected phases.

Construction Site, we’ll work in teams and ueall our Valuse

shared knowledge to fine-tune each school’s own version of BAS.








The Registration Form is linked here. Once we receive your registration we will send your invoice to the address you provide on the form.

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