Student Assessment Using Model Cornerstone Assessments

Pilot-testing is now closed.


Student Assessment. The following MCAs have been drafted and are being field-tested:

Learn what other teachers have said about taking part in the MCA pilot tests.

The Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) provide a framework into which teachers integrate their curriculum while using common learning expectations and rubrics. Each school program has a unique population and circumstances that guide curricular decisions. Respecting the professional autonomy of teachers that know their students and educational culture, the MCAs provide adaptable assessment tasks that will assist students through the components of each artistic process, allowing them to demonstrate the quality of learning associated with the performance standards. The assessment rubrics have been designed to allow for task flexibility while documenting the quality of student learning. They have been designed and tested to be used in the classroom by teachers, therefore eliminating the necessity for external evaluation. If administered with integrity by the practicing teachers, the MCAs are documented to be valid assessments of student learning and can reliably document student growth throughout a music program.

The entire package of Standards and Model Cornerstone Assessments are made available for teacher use at no cost. Supplemental professional development materials may be eventually made available to assist teachers as desired, but the MCAs will continue to be offered as a service to the profession. The entire development process and pilot testing occurred through thousands of volunteer hours by music educators and researchers across the country. The MCAs follow the national trend to move from standardized measures that narrow curriculum to authentic and contextually based assessments through which students are encouraged to demonstrate achievement of standards in the variety of ways that reflect their experience with music in and beyond schools.

The MCAs are focused on student learning and are not evaluations of teacher quality or effectiveness. They are to be used by teachers to inform instructional decisions and curricular enhancements. In preparing future teachers, the MCAs should also be included in the curricula of teacher education programs. State associations may use the MCAs freely in professional development for practicing teachers and supervisors.

  • Sally Ross

    Are the Ensemble assessments recorded and assessed as a whole class activity or as something each student needs to do individually?