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Quality assessments, groundbreaking research and measurement, and user-driven educational solutions

Learn more about ETS Research & Development.


K–12 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Research Center

K–12 assessments are an integral part of learning and teaching. The K–12 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Research Center at ETS aims to:

  • improve K–12 teaching and learning
  • align assessment with principles of learning and teaching
  • inform innovations and operations in K–12 student and teacher assessment
  • research and address inequities in the teacher pipeline

The center's work is supported through a combination of internally funded projects and external grants, which are primarily funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Learn more about ETS grants and alliances.


The center's work employs and contributes to the development of learning theories and models including cognitive, social and cultural dimensions of learning. It is also informed by new standards intended to prepare college- and career-ready young adults, including Next Generation Science Standards, and college- and career-ready standards in mathematics and English-language arts.


Supporting teachers and teacher education

The center staff recognize that teaching and teachers are among the most important school-related factors in student learning, and that assessment (formative and summative) plays an essential role of supporting teachers to make instructional decisions and evaluate student progress. The center remains at the forefront of engagement with teachers, students, school districts, and state and national stakeholders in order to best address the issues and challenges they face.

View the 2019 Simulations in Teacher Education Conference for short papers and presentations from the conference, which examines the role of simulations in K–12 science and mathematics teacher education.


Foundational and applied research

The center conducts foundational research to leverage modern technologies and methodologies to design and investigate the effectiveness of assessment, learning and instructional innovations. The center also conducts applied research that provides evidence to inform new product development related to student and teacher assessments.


Simulated Classroom Image
One line of the center's research focuses on the use of simulated classrooms to support teacher learning (e.g., NSF grant #1621344).


Focus areas

The center currently has the following major focus areas:

  • defining and improving measurement of essential constructs in academic, social and emotional learning
  • technology-supported assessment and scoring solutions
  • development and validation of learning progressions
  • diversification of the teaching population
  • understanding the role of content knowledge in effective teaching
  • supporting teacher learning throughout a teacher’s career
  • increasing the depth and breadth of formative assessment