Guidance on Standards, Assessments, and Accountability
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EXAMPLE: Performance Assessment Task and Performance Standard

A 5th grade mathematics performance assessment task presents the situation of students planning a county all-star basketball game. Students respond to a series of fourteen questions that are organized into four exercises. Ten questions call on students to accomplish such tasks as estimating game revenues; solving money problems; converting among percents, fractions, and decimals; and applying basic mathematical operations.

The performance assessments also include "proficiency level descriptions" for each grade level. Students either "meet or exceed the standards," "approach the standard," or are "considerably below the standard." For example, for grade 5 in mathematics, students who "meet or exceed the standard" combine critical thinking with prior knowledge to generate logical, well-supported answers. They communicate clearly and effectively, using appropriate detail and language. Students who "approach the standard" may communicate ineffectively, giving incomplete and/or unclear explanations. And, students who are "considerably below the standard" may demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem and may not recognize a reasonable problem-solving strategy.

Source: Improving America’s Schools: A Newsletter On Issues in School Reform, funded and distributed by the U. S. Department of Education

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Last Modified: 10/10/2003