Performance Assessment: The Realities That Will Influence the Rewards

By Pierson, Carol Anne; Beck, Shirley S. | Childhood Education, Fall 1993 | Go to article overview

Performance Assessment: The Realities That Will Influence the Rewards


Pierson, Carol Anne, Beck, Shirley S., Childhood Education


As educators continually strive to improve evaluation methods, performance assessment has grown in popularity and use. Performance assessment is an authentic way to acquire accurate information about students' performance and comprehension (Perrone, 1991). Its appeal may be related to the growing need for local decision-making about student progress and instructional programs, as well to the interest in outcome-based education. Extensive debate about this type of assessment is carried on in education journals, professional meetings and education policy discussions. "Expert" perceptions of the "movement" range from skepticism to a belief that it is the solution to all of education's ills (Arter, 1991; Cizek, 1991).

At best, performance assessment could be the key to restructuring schools for higher standards and improved accountability. At the very least, it adds an expanded dimension to education assessment. At worst, performance assessment could become another promising idea tossed on the junk heap of discarded innovations if care is not taken to really understand its nature and limitations. As more schools move toward performance assessment for student evaluations, teachers and particularly administrators must become knowledgeable users.

Performance assessment is not a totally new idea. It is a common form of assessment in fields such as medicine and law. Industry uses performance assessment to make promotion decisions. Performance assessment was once the most common form of assessment in education, prior to the widespread use of standardized tests (Perrone, 1991). And it has been used regularly in such subjects as physical education, music and art.

Language arts teachers, in particular, have embraced the concept of performance assessment, perhaps because they have been using performance testing to varying degrees for many years (i.e., to evaluate essays, speeches, book reports and various forms of oral reading). Their cry to legitimize teacher observations of students engaged in actual literacy tasks is being heard and supported by other teachers, administrators, governors and legislators. Performance assessment of reading and writing is becoming a reality in many classrooms across the United States.

As the "movement" generates increased enthusiasm and optimism, more and more administrators are seeking help to establish performance assessment procedures not only for reading and English programs, but also for other content areas, such as math and science. The authors, as assessment consultants, have discovered that enthusiasm for and acceptance of performance assessment often exceed knowledge about its nature and complexity. As they wrestle with the task of helping administrators develop environments and structures for moving toward performance assessment, the authors have identified three basic and critical questions that often go unanswered when schools rush to jump on the performance assessment bandwagon:

* What exactly is performance assessment?

* What advice is available from experts and the research?

* What issues and concerns must be addressed?

What Exactly Is Performance Assessment?

Few discussions of performance assessment clearly define the phrase. The authors found Berk's (1986) operational definition to be a fair and concise representation of current beliefs about performance assessment. He defines performance assessment as "the process of gathering data by systematic observation for making decisions about an individual". Stiggins and Bridgeford (1986) establish three criteria for a performance assessment. First, students must apply knowledge they have acquired. Second, students must complete a clearly specified task within the context of either a real or simulated exercise. Third, the task or completed product must be observed and rated with respect to specified criteria in accordance with specified procedures, requiring students to actually demonstrate proficiency. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Performance Assessment: The Realities That Will Influence the Rewards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.