Curriculum-based assessment (CBA) is an approach to linking instruction with assessment. CBA has three purposes: (1) to determine eligibility, (2) to develop the goals for instruction, and (3) to evaluate the student's progress in the curriculum. Based on the performance on a CBA instrument, teachers and other professionals can specify instructional goals. Because there is such a close link between assessment and instruction, it is possible to conduct CBA frequently in order to determine whether to make any changes in instruction or the curriculum. Data collection, interpretation, and intervention are all integral parts of CBA. Other terms for CBA are curriculum-referenced measurement, curriculum-embedded measurement, frequent measurement, continuous curriculum measurement, and therapeutic measurement. CBA is useful because it:

  • Links curriculum and instruction.
  • Helps the teacher determine what to teach.
  • Can be administered frequently.
  • Is sensitive to short-term academic gains.
  • Assists in the evaluation of student progress and program evaluation.
  • Can be reliable and valid.
  • Assists in improving student achievement. (Choate, Enright, Miller, Poteet, & Rakes, 1995; Wright, n.d., Retrieved March 1, 2005 from