The Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research (BEAR) Center, was established in 1994 at the University of California, Berkeley, within its Graduate School of Education. The BEAR Center conducts research on the integration of assessment (the measurement of individual students) and evaluation (the study of educational and social interventions). The core of this research is the development and use of appropriate assessment methods for evaluating students, schools, and educational policy, and the reform of educational assessment and evaluation. The BEAR Center has become a leader in the use of advanced analytic models and novel reporting modes that more accurately reflect the multi-layered nature of education. A central component of BEAR’s work is the development of an integrated assessment system, called the BEAR.
Assessment System (Wilson & Sloane, 2000), an application of new theories and methodologies in the field of assessment to the practice of teacher-managed, classroom-based assessment of student performance. The BEAR Assessment System (BAS) is built on the basis of assessments developed to match the purpose and content of the instruction in which the assessments are embedded. To support the BEAR Assessment System, we developed BASS, the BEAR Assessment System Software, which is an enterprise-level software platform for use in developing, deploying, analysing and reporting throughout the full length and scope of an assessment or evaluation project.
The BEAR staff includes directors, Professor Mark Wilson and Associate Professor Karen Draney, as well as researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, computer programming staff, and support staff.