Performance Assessment: A Test That Doesn't Feel Like A Test

"A test that doesn't feel like a test"

6th graders in a western New York classroom are taking a test, but it's not the paper and pencil kind where they fill in the blanks. Instead, they are helping to develop a 'performance-based assessment' that tracks their growth over time, enhanced with hands-on activities and peer review. This practice is the result of an approximately $9.2-million-dollar initiative called "Teaching is the Core," administered by the New York State Education Department with federal grants. The goal: encourage districts to eliminate locally-adopted tests that do not contribute to teaching and learning, while identifying and improving high-quality assessments. Awardees representing 260 districts included 25 BOCES, four large city school districts (Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, and Yonkers) and two school district consortia (Binghamton CSD and Williamsville CSD).” TITC awardees were encouraged to incorporate performance assessment into their practices where appropriate.