A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Assessment of Student Performance

Studies of Education Reform

April 1997


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

PREFACE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Part 1 of 2

A Brief History of the Performance Assessment Movement
Thrust for Reform
The Performance Assessment Movement
National Level
State, District, and School Levels

Relationship of Assessment Reform to Systemic and Organizational Change Part 2 of 2

Curriculum and Assessment
Professional Development
Community Support
Technical Issues
Validity
Generalizability and Reliability
Additional Gaps in Current Knowledge
Costs of Performance Assessments
Technology and Performance Assessments
Conclusion

CHAPTER 2:STUDY OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN

Objectives
Research Design
Collection and Analysis of Background Literature
Qualitative Research Methodology: A Case Study Approach
Sample Selection Criteria
Sample Description
Data Collection Activities and Instruments
Data Analysis
Within-Case Analysis
Cross-Case Analysis
Data Interpretation

CHAPTER 3:CASE STUDY SUMMARIES Part 1 of 5

Coalition of Essential Schools: Cooper Middle School
Primary Learning Record: Park Elementary School

Language Arts and Math Portfolios: Ni?os Bonitos Elementary School Part 2 of 5

Prince William County Public Schools' Applications Assessments: Westgate Middle School
Vermont Portfolios: Maple Leaf Middle School

Oregon Assessment Reform: Crandall High School Part 3 of 5

Kentucky Assessment Reform: Breckenridge Middle School
Rite of Passage Experience: Thoreau High School

The College Board's Pacesetter Mathematics Program: Sommerville High School Part 4 of 5

The New Standards Project: Ann Chester Elementary School
The New Standards Project: Noakes Elementary School
Harrison School District 2's Performance-Based Curriculum: McGary Elementary School

South Brunswick's Sixth Grade Research Performance Assessment: Windermere Elementary School Part 5 of 5

New York Regents Portfolios: Hudson High School
Maryland Assessment Reform: Walters Middle School
Arizona Assessment Reform: Manzanita High School

CHAPTER 4:CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS 1:CHARACTERISTICS OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS Part 1 of 4

Introduction to the Cross-Case Analyses
A Simple Schemata of Assessments
Conventions of Terminology in the Cross-Case Analyses
Organization of the Chapter
Summary of Performance Assessment System Characteristics
Purposes of Performance Assessment Systems and Subject Areas Assessed
Purposes of National Level Assessments
Purposes of State Level Assessments
Purposes of District Level Assessments
Purposes of School Level Assessments
Subject Areas Assessed

Format of Performance Assessments and Performance Assessment Systems Part 2 of 4

Assessment Tasks
Scoring Methods
Performance Assessments

Performance Assessment Systems Part 3 of 4
Technical Features Part 4 of 4

Validity
Reliability
Conclusion

CHAPTER 5:CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS 2: ASSESSMENT REFORM — FACILITATORS AND BARRIERS
Part 1 of 2

Introduction
Facilitators and Barriers: Achieving the Stated Purposes of Assessment Reform
Limitations of the Analysis
Facilitators and Barriers: State-Initiated Assessments
Utilization of Outside Sources of Information and Expert Help
Technical Soundness of the Assessment
Coordination with Associated Reforms
Actual or Perceived Fairness of the Assessment System

The Adequacy and Politicization of the Timeline for Reform Professional Development Part 2 of 2

Facilitators and Barriers: School-Initiated Assessments
Waivers
Availability of Information and Resources
Time and Organizational Structures
Facilitators and Barriers: District-Initiated Assessments
Prince William County: Applications Assessments
South Brunswick: Sixth Grade Research Performance Assessment
Harrison School District 2: Performance-Based Literacy Assessments
Conclusion

CHAPTER 6:CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS 3:TEACHER APPROPRIATION OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS Part 1 of 3

Introduction
Teacher Appropriation Defined
Level of Initiation and Mediating Factors (Facilitators and Barriers)
Level of Involvement
Design of Assessment Tasks
Development of Scoring Rubrics and Establishment of Performance Standards
Participation in Scoring of Assessment Tasks
Summary
Level of Prescription of Assessment Tasks and Implementation Procedures
Effects of a Tightly Prescribed Assessment on Teacher Appropriation
Effects of a Moderately Prescribed Assessment on Teacher Appropriation
Effects of a Loosely Prescribed Assessment on Teacher Appropriation

Opportunities for Professional Development Part 2 of 3

Train-the-Trainer Models of Professional Development
Conferences, Symposia, and Institutes
Collaboration with Outside Experts and Other Networks
Interaction with Other Reforms and Other Assessments
Coordinated Efforts to Reform Curricula or to Establish Standards
Compatibility with Other Assessment Requirements

School Organizational Structures Part 3 of 3

Time
Leadership
Conclusion

CHAPTER 7CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS 4:IMPACT OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS ON TEACHING AND LEARNING Part 1 of 2

Organization of the Chapter
Limitations to the Analyses
Teaching
Curriculum Instruction
Teacher Role

Learning Part 2 of 2

Impact on Motivational and Social Skills
Writing and Thinking Skills
Impact on Children in Special Education Programs
Barriers to Effective Classroom Use
Lack of Time
Content and Performance Standards
Conclusion

CHAPTER 8:ASSESSMENT REFORM: FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS Part 1 of 2

Findings About the Status of Assessment Reform
Summary

Implications for Policy and Future Research Part 2 of 2

General Policy Implications
Specific Policy Implications
Implications for Future Research

REFERENCES
APPENDIX