ForewordStudies of Education Reform, a U.S. Department of Education-funded examination of 12 of the most important strategies of education reform, was planned
in 1990, while I served as Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and
Improvement. The set of 12 studies was intended to explore some of the most
important areas and issues in education reform--including systemic reform,
educational technology, school-to-work initiatives, school-based management,
and curriculum reform--that emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s, and to show
how those various reforms fit together. It gives me great satisfaction to write
this foreword to a book reporting on the findings of one of those 12 studies.The authors of Principles and Practices of Performance Assessment took the
opportunity created by the Department's support to conduct what is, to the
best of my knowledge, the broadest investigation of the characteristics of
performance assessments and their impacts at the school level. In their careful
exploration of a diverse set of 16 schools--where teachers and students are
using an equally diverse set of performance assessments--the authors explore
some of the major issues confronting policymakers and educators as they set
about introducing new forms of assessment. Looking at the intersection between the performance assessment and the school, the authors describe:
|• ||The characteristics of the several types of assessment techniques that have
come collectively to be known as "performance assessment" or "authentic
|• ||The facilitators of and barriers to the implementation of performance
assessments at the state, district, and school levels.|
|• ||The factors that affect teachers' "appropriation" of performance assessments, or, in other words, teachers' ability to take new forms of assessment and adapt them for use in their own classrooms.|
|• ||The impacts of those assessments on teaching practice and learning.|
The assessments they investigate include those developed and introduced at
all levels of the educational enterprise: state departments of education, district
offices, and schools themselves, as well as assessments promoted by national
groups such as the New Standards Project, the Coalition of Essential Schools,
and the College Board. The authors show how assessments initiated at these
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Principles and Practices of Performance Assessment.
Contributors: Nidhi Khattri - Author, Alison L. Reeve - Author, Michael B. Kane - Author.
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: vii.
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