How Do States Integrate Performance Assessments Into Their Systems of Assessment?

How Do States Integrate Performance Assessments Into Their Systems of Assessment? cover
February 22, 2017
Elizabeth Leisy Stosich
Jon D. Snyder
Katherine L. Wilczak
Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education; and Understanding Language – Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity

There is growing interest among state and local educational leaders in using performance assessment to develop and assess students’ critical abilities—such as inquiry, communication, and collaboration—that are essential for student success but poorly measured by many traditional assessments. In a 2017 study, Stosich, Snyder & Wilczak investigated the policies and capacity building efforts of 12 states to identify the strategies used to integrate performance assessment into state systems of assessment. Their review revealed four strategies:  

  1. Supporting teachers, schools, and districts in their use of performance tasks for classroom purposes.
  2. Using performance tasks as one component of a graduation requirement, either by creating a graduation portfolio including performance tasks, or establishing proficiency requirements that can be demonstrated through the use of performance assessment.
  3. Using performance assessments for school accountability purposes or replacing statewide tests with performance tasks when possible, including allowing the use of performance assessment in non-tested grades/subjects or to fill the testing vacuum created by the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 
  4. Seeking a waiver from the federal government to alter federal testing requirements and allow performance tasks to be used for federal accountability.

This brief is drawn from the forthcoming article, How Do States Integrate Performance Assessments Into Their Systems of Assessment?