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Performance Assessment Resource Bank

Project Dates: 


PARB logo

    While assessment in the United States has focused largely on “bubbling in” answers on multiple choice tests, educators are searching for better, more authentic, and higher quality assessment tools that measure the complex thinking necessary for success in our modern world. Scaling up performance assessment requires high-quality tools and content.

    That’s why we’re built the Performance Assessment Resource Bank (PARB)—an online resource for K–12 teachers, administrators, and policy makers. The website is designed to serve as a platform for sharing high-quality performance assessments and resources curated from educators and organizations nationwide and building community among the educators and leaders who use, develop, and share these important tools. It includes performance assessment tasks and support resources for designing a system of assessment and building educator assessment literacy and capabilities, all focused on more meaningful learning.

    This innovative approach provides an expanding resource base through community collaboration and sharing features that will support an expanding network of performance assessment content developers. Assessment resources, initially created by experts, will grow in breadth and depth because the site enables educators to work together, adapt, pilot, and provide feedback on existing tools, contribute new content, and build a performance assessment community.

    Initial contributors of tools and content to the resource base include:

    The website, now in its nationwide rollout, features:

    • Free, open access.
    • A growing library of high quality performance tasks, portfolio frameworks, learning progressions, research, and other assessment resources, all developed by educators and organizations and vetted by experts trained by UL-SCALE at Stanford University.
    • Personalized dashboards with saved resources for each community member.
    • A user rating system to guide content selection and facilitate continuous improvement of content.
    • The ability for registered users to share resources via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

    Educators can quickly and easily access and use content in classrooms, schools, and school systems or use the tools to develop their own performance assessment materials. Community members can also submit new content for review and vetting by experts.

    After significant testing, the Performance Assessment Resource Bank is now available nationwide. Based on user feedback, we will continuously upgrade the site. 

    PARB Collaborators: 

    This new and innovative approach to assessment was created through a partnership between the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) and Understanding Language-Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (UL-SCALE), with the participation of member states of the Innovation Lab Network of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

    PARB Directors:

    • Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, SCOPE
    • Laura Gutmann, UL-SCALE 


        The Performance Assessment Resource Bank was created with the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Sandler Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge their support. The website is managed independently by Understanding Language/Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and does not represent the views of the sponsors.

        Reviews of PARB:

        The Performance Assessment Resource Bank has been an empowering solution for my classroom for two years now. The tasks are interesting and engaging for students, and fit seamlessly into my curriculum. I love hearing students talk about how the tasks helped them become more critical thinkers through the reading and writing process and I find myself planning my own tasks now using the larger scope I've experienced in the performance assessments. This Performance Assessment Resource Bank is an important place where teachers have access to quality resources that can help us as we endeavor to produce competitive, 21st century students.
        —Carisa Barnes, High School English Teacher, California

        The Performance Assessment Resource Bank puts developed resources into the hands of people who are more than ready to use them.  They've created a peer-reviewed archive, based in solid research and connected to 21st century standards, that lets districts, schools and teachers do what we need to do:  Let kids use what they've learned to show us what they can do.
        —Jonathan Doughty, High School Science Teacher, Maine

        The Performance Assessment Resource Bank is very comprehensive and will provide outstanding support to educators in the development of high quality performance assessments.  It is “one-stop shopping.” Teachers will have access to high quality assessments and rubrics that have been piloted and vetted.  The professional development materials and resources that are available will assists Virginia’s teachers and schools as we continue our work with the development and implementation of performance assessments. One of the greatest resources available through the Performance Assessment Resource Bank is the opportunity for teachers to submit their locally developed performance assessments and have them vetted by the staff at SCALE. Having a professional staff to provide feedback and validate the quality of our work will be huge to Virginia as we move forward in our efforts to replace our multiple choice state assessments with valid and rigorous performance tasks
        Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun, Chief Academic Officer for the State of Virginia