Process Based Assessments

Process Based Assessments stand at the center of Achievement First's collaborative, cumulative approach to college readiness. "College writing requires students to present arguments clearly, substantiate each point and utilize the basics of a style manual when constructing a paper," explains instructional expert David Conley. "Students need to know how to pre-write, how to edit, and how to re-write a piece before it is submitted and, often, after it has been submitted and once feedback has been provided."

To these critical ends, Achievement First scholars produce Process Based Assessments (PBAs) -- multi-draft, expository, evidence-based essays -- at the end of every three weeks. Each essay marks a critical, scaffolded step toward college-readiness by helping scholars develop critical reading, thinking and self-management skills along with key content knowledge.

The PBA system revolves around Achievement First's coordinated humanities program -- an innovative, four-year, required curriculum in which composition class serves at the glue between literature and history learning. The system depends on three key phases -- all critical to post-secondary success:

  • Reading and annotation: Using the Achievement First Annotation Rubric, teachers ensure that scholars master the ability to unlock the meaning of complex texts through multiple close readings and focused annotation.
  • Speaking and listening: The Achievement First Seminar Cycle prepares scholars for college-level work by requiring them to critically discuss texts, synthesize ideas and develop arguments grounded in text.
  • Evidence-based writing: The Achievement First Writing Rubric provides a framework according to which scholars learn to articulate and defend a position in writing using logical structure, carefully selected evidence, insightful interpretations, clear reasoning and fluid language.