Policy & Practice

Assessment Design


We believe that to function as ethical and competent assessors and education policymakers we must:

  • match the appropriate assessment method to the specific purpose identified for the assessment
  • adhere to industry standards in construction of our selected methods
  • limit the use of the results from the assessment to the purpose of the assessment.

We also believe that state and local assessment systems should employ methods that provide the learner the opportunity to show what they know and can do in authentic contexts, drawing on higher-order thinking.

Why focus on assessment design?

Assessments are built for a specific purpose. When evidence shows that a test measures what it was built to measure, we say that the test has validity for that intended use. We cannot use the terms “valid” or “invalid” to describe any particular test, assessment, or measure; rather, it is the use of the results of an assessment for a specific purpose that can be valid or invalid, depending on whether there is information to support the intended use.

How We Contribute

Professional Learning Materials

We publish documents designed to promote ethical, competent, and innovative assessment practice and policy.  Here are a few examples:

Visit  our Resource Bank to find more examples.

We create instructional materials for educators to equip them to develop quality assessments. Additional instructional materials assist educators in the selection of quality measures based on the identified purpose.

Learning Events

We regularly sponsor events featuring international and national assessment experts who provide the research evidence and models of practice that support the imperatives and implications associated with issues of assessment purpose, type and design.

The January 30, 2019 Assessment Learning Network (ALN) session will feature Stuart Kahl, co-founder and past CEO of Measured Progress, on the topic Performance Assessment: The Heart of a 21st Century Education.

Our Assessment Learning Network events include rich resources and videos.  View some of our previous events and register for upcoming sessions.

ALN Events

Performance Assessments

As part of the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment (MAEIA) project, the MAC developed a catalog of 360 model arts performance assessments that adhere to assessment development industry standards and can be used as is or as models for development of additional performance assessments.

The MAEIA K-12 Model Assessments are curriculum-embedded and aligned to Michigan Standards and National Core Arts Standards. These voluntary assessments were developed and field-tested in Michigan’s classrooms for all grade levels K-12 in each of the four arts disciplines.

Learn More

To learn more about our Policy and Practice work regarding assessment design,  please contact Kathy Dewsbury-White at (517) 816-4520.

Contact Us

Our resource bank contains additional materials and resources to support educators in the effective use of assessment.

Visit Resource Bank