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The justice-oriented, antiracist (JOAR) approach to scenario-based assessments

The Center for Measurement Justice (CMJ) is a research center dedicated to justice-oriented assessment and measurement practices. 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. CMJ engages in three primary strands of work:


Increasing representation, including supporting the recruitment, retention, and development of Black, Brown, and Indigenous scholars.


Supporting and conducting critical research on the impact, methods, or practical implementation of justice-oriented assessment and measurement practices.


Strategic engagement of rights-holders across the education field to promulgate conversations about justice-oriented educational measurement and increase the capacity of willing partners to bring antiracist measurement to their constituents.

Resource spotlight

The justice-oriented, antiracist (JOAR) approach to scenario-based assessment addresses three problems of practice:


Traditional mathematics assessments typically present math as “context-free” and “neutral.” Students rarely have opportunities to engage with math assessments that present real-life scenarios students can relate to or that they will typically engage with.


Assessment systems can, but rarely do, leverage their power (for example, to drive instruction) to disrupt oppressive systems by considering the varied ways of knowing and understanding that students–particularly marginalized students–have.


The field of assessment–though eager to use technology to increase efficiency through automated item generation and scoring methods–has not leveraged available technologies to shift these paradigms, often defaulting to assumptions of neutrality over prioritizing opportunities to engage students in authentic, justice-oriented practices.

The JOAR approach integrates the process of assessment, teaching, and learning by engaging students in co-designing context-based, antiracist math assessments. Students, teachers, and researchers work together to co-design assessment tasks, using real-life scenarios supported by digital media.

Dive into CMJ’s JOAR toolkit to learn how CMJ partners with students and teachers to develop assessment scenarios that address a meaningful sociopolitical injustice to them and their communities.

Contact Information

For more information on the JOAR toolkit, please contact Dr. Jennifer Randall, Founder and President of the Center for Measurement Justice.

Related Resources

Center for Innovation in Education (C!E)

At The Center for Innovation in Education we facilitate connections, build relationships, and share learning among those who must work in concert to bring about equity-seeking change in education. We often, but not always, orient this work around innovation in assessment and accountability systems as a key lever for systems change.

Point of Contact: Rita Harvey and Doannie Tran
Visit the Website: Click Here

Click here to read their equitable assessment example >>