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Envision Education Deeper Student Learning Assessment Initiative

The Deeper Learning Student Assessment System (DLSAS) is a Common Core-aligned system of instruction and assessment that uses performance assessment to drive student mastery of core academic content in conjunction with the development of the higher order cognitive skills necessary for college and career success. The Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative (DLSAI) made this technology-enabled system broadly available. DLSAI was funded through a collection of grants provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Four school networks that shared a common approach to education and an interest in using assessment to drive effective teaching and learning led the DLSAI: Envision Education, New Tech Network, ConnectEd, and Asia Society. SCALE led the efforts of these networks to refine, evaluate, and codify the methodology, tools, and practices of the Deeper Learning Performance Assessment System.

Specifically, SCALE directed the development and review of performance tasks and rubrics, as well as task shells and the ShowEvidence online task development protocol. The review utilized content alignment instruments to assess the quality, usability, and adaptability of the assessment instruments with the Common Core, SBAC, PARCC, and college and career readiness standards.

The goal of the Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative was to make the DLSAS methodology, tools and practices widely available to educators, education leaders, and school and district administrators.

Key Deliverables:

  • Resources produced in collaboration with SCALE will be available to educators nationwide at the conclusion of the project, including rubrics, performance tasks, scoring protocols, and tools for evaluating the quality and rigor of teacher-created performance tasks.


The DLSAS prototype was field tested in small scale, formative trials at schools within DLSAI Partner networks. SCALE continued its development and research activities through Summer 2014.