August 09, 2023
Aug 08, 2023
· Press Release

Instructure’s Annual State of Assessment Survey Reveals the Importance of Data-Informed Decision-Making, Educator Desire for Greater Assessment Literacy


While 81% of educators believe their school or district promotes a strong assessment-focused culture, only 62% would describe themselves as proficient in assessment literacy

SALT LAKE CITY — August 9, 2023 — Instructure, the leading learning platform which includes Canvas LMS and Mastery Assessments, today released results from its 2023 State of Assessment in K-12 Education report, in partnership with Hanover Research. With post-pandemic learning loss a continued focus, educators and administrators are relying on both formative and summative assessment data to direct classroom instruction. However, they are concerned about assessment literacy; the value placed on assessments; quality and reliability; identifying the right technology to deliver data; and effectively balancing assessment with instruction.

While 81% of educators believe they have an assessment-focused culture, there are discrepancies in assessment literacy, a lack of comfort with state standards, and the burdensome nature of the current assessment model. Only 62% of educators feel proficient in assessment literacy and 51% expressing concerns over the negative impact of assessments on instructional time. This emphasizes the need for relevant professional development opportunities, the use of embedded (or in-course) assessments, and systemic improvements that create an impactful and supportive assessment environment for both educators and students.

“Based on the findings, educators need efficient and effective tools to create and deliver assessments that measure student growth beyond achievement,” said Karl Rectanus, SVP of K-12 Strategy. “The report shows the need for learning platforms that can seamlessly and safely integrate assessment into content to optimize effective teaching and learning.”

Partnering with Hanover Research, Instructure launched the study designed to understand how 1,000 K-12 teachers and administrators across the United States feel about assessment today, how they use assessments and outcomes data in practice  and their opinion of the future of K-12 assessment.

The findings suggest five common trends and best practices to drive more balanced assessment in K-12 schools.
View the full report: 2023 State of Assessment in K-12 Education.

  1. Assessment literacy needs to be prioritized.

There is a need to invest in professional development for teachers to build confidence in assessment design and practice, as well as how to effectively use the data to drive learning.

  • Four out of five educators perceive their district or school culture to be “assessment-focused,” yet only three out of five consider themselves “assessment literate.”

  • With less than two-thirds of educators (64%) feeling comfortable with their current state standards, further efforts are needed to promote standards-aligned assessment.

  1. Both administrators and teachers value assessment – for different reasons.

The survey uncovered diverging perspectives between administrators and teachers regarding the value of assessment.

  • 62% of teachers expressed concerns over the negative impact of current assessment models on instructional time.
  • The impact of interim and summative assessments differs between teachers and administrators. Administrators are 17% more likely to view interim assessments as an opportunity to measure student growth than teachers.

  1. Quality and reliability (still) matter most.

Assessment remains top-of-mind for educators. Almost twice as many educators are evaluating their assessments annually compared to one year ago. As schools continue to evaluate assessments and consider changing models in upcoming years, three characteristics are valued above all: reliability (91%), validity (90%), and quality (91%).

  • Of the 70% of educators evaluating their assessments at least once yearly, half implement new assessments annually. This number is significantly higher than 38% in 2021.

  • 87% of educators agree that aligning assessments with state standards and accurately representing the district’s scope and sequence is crucial. ​​​​

  1. The right technology embeds the right assessment data at the right time.

Choosing the right educational tools is crucial for schools, especially given the abundance of options and approaching funding deadlines.

  • Top data priorities include the ability to track student mastery of learning standards (46%), align content to standards (46%) and efficient, real-time data delivery (42%).

  • Many educators report they are more likely to embrace technology that provides valuable data (51%), is promoted by school leaders (47%) and saves them time (47%).

  1. Educators continue to balance the assessment approach.

As the post-pandemic new normal sets in, educators’ confidence in summative assessment appears to be returning.

  • More than two-thirds of educators reported positive perceptions of summative assessments, compared to just over half of educators in 2021.

  • Educators cite that summative assessments help them to see trends over time (76%), provide valuable data that influence classroom instruction (73%) and encourage them to grow as teachers (70%).

Survey Methodology

The 2023 State of Assessment in K-12 Education survey was developed in coordination with Hanover Research. It was fielded in April 2023 and after fielding and data cleaning, the study comprised 1,000 qualified, completed responses from 550 teachers, 340 school or district-level administrators and 110 assessment specialists. The data is cut into crosstabs by role, region and district urbanicity. We performed statistical significance testing across segments with a 95% confidence level using a Z-Test with p = less than 0.05 and a margin of error +/- 1% for the overall sample size.

For any questions regarding the underlying methodology or data, please contact us at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements, which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the potential, timing and examples of any strategic alternatives. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, but are based on management’s expectations as of the date of this press release and assumptions that are inherently subject to uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements include the risk factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on February 17, 2023 and other documents filed with the SEC and could cause actual results to vary from expectations. All information provided in this press release is as of the date hereof and Instructure undertakes no duty to update this information except as required by law.

About Instructure

Instructure (NYSE: INST) powers the delivery of education globally and provides learners with the rich credentials they need to create opportunities across their lifetimes. Today, the Instructure ecosystem of products enables educators and institutions to elevate student success, amplify the power of teaching, and inspire everyone to learn together. With our global network of learners, educators, partners and customers, we continue to deliver on our vision to be the platform that powers learning for a lifetime and turns that learning into opportunities. We encourage you to discover more at


Brian Watkins
Corporate Communications


Jennifer Durrant
Corporate Communications