Our Mission and Vision
The Problem with Educational Measurement
In the conversation about education debt and opportunity gaps, a key assumption is that large-scale and small-scale assessments accurately and objectively capture what people know. To be sure, this is not true for all people, particularly in Black, Brown, and Indigenous (BBI) communities. The field of educational measurement is steeped in ways that center heteronormative white supremacy, from the assumption that assessment tasks can be culturally neutral (they cannot), to an oft-used technique in which new measures are deemed good if they correlate strongly with old measures, essentially proving their ability to uphold the current social order through a network of deficit-framed data. This system repeatedly and consistently fails to capture the true capacity of minoritized learners, especially BBI learners. While score differentials between racial groups are often explained away by deficit narratives about what BBI students know and are able to do, in fact, they partially reflect a failure of measurement.