A balanced assessment system is a core component of a well-rounded instructional program that serves all students. A balanced assessment system effectively measures the depth and breadth of student learning and monitors student progress towards college and career readiness. It also produces actionable data that informs planning for instruction, academic supports, and resource allocation at all levels. To meet these goals, a balanced assessment system must include multiple measures and be responsive to the needs of all students.

A Balanced Assessment System

Benchmark Assessment System determines a student's independent and instructional reading levels and behaviors.  Students read leveled books in one on one reading conferences three times a year.  BAS assessments allow teachers to plan for meaningful instruction and monitor progress.

Adapted from CPS Assessment Framework

Key to designing a balanced assessment system that supports the instructional core is the use of multiple measures. A single style of assessment or a single point in time measure is insufficient to truly gauge the depth and breadth of student understanding. A complete overview of D97 common assessments is presented on the following pages, in both a table and frequency view. Note that classroom-level formative assessments are occurring all the time in this model. Those assessments can include in-the-moment checks for understanding, exit tickets, etc. The bulk of assessments in a balanced assessment are formative, whether they are at the classroom or team level.



Most relevant to

Types of information


Formative – Classroom

Daily, weekly

Teachers, students, families

Mastery of specific skills and knowledge and mastery of conceptual understanding, for both content and use of academic language

Can also include diagnostic assessments for students screened as needing intervention and progress monitoring toward grade-level skills

Checks for understanding, do nows, exit tickets, quizzes, writing assignments, observations, discussions, AIMSWeb+, running records, or other curriculum-based measures

Formative – Team

Unit, monthly

Teacher teams, Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs)

Mastery of larger chunks of instruction

Common unit tests or performance assessments, mid and end-of-module Eureka Math assessments


Mid to end of each trimester

Teacher teams, ILTs, District content/PD supports

Mastery towards pre-defined criteria, norm-referenced


Summative – Placement

As needed for placement decisions

Students, families

Readiness for special programs or classes, placement within existing course structures

KRT, Gifted Identification, 6th Grade Placement Test

Summative – State-Mandated


All stakeholders

Mastery of the range of learning expectations for the entire year, norm-referenced