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.

Mission and Vision

Vision

The Center for Measurement Justice (CMJ) is a research center dedicated to social justice-oriented educational assessments and professionals.

We envision a future in which all learners, especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous students, experience learning assessments that validate their cultural identities and measure what they, their communities, and their families value. In this future, all students, but especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous students, see educational assessments as valuable tools to support their learning and liberation.

Mission

CMJ seeks to inspire, prepare, and support a critical mass of measurement professionals and co-conspirators as they work towards a socially just assessment and measurement system. Through this work, we aim to become the epicenter for engagement on measurement justice, galvanizing communities, school systems, assessment creators, and researchers to advance socially just assessment and measurement approaches.

In our work, we push back against assessment practices that do not value diverse types of knowledge and knowledge creation- especially with respect to Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. We recognize that the complex and rich identities of all individuals should be acknowledged, valued, and sustained by/through our assessment practices. Moreover, we acknowledge the white supremacist, racist roots of measurement and seek to disrupt this historical narrative through culturally sustaining assessment practices that are explicitly and unapologetically antiracist. And so, as advocates for justice, we lean into difficult assessment and measurement challenges by building awareness, seeking creative solutions, and generating transformative ideas in an effort to provide and/or create measurement justice for all.