Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning
June 2014, Jossey-Bass
Performance assessment is a hot topic in school systems, and educators continue to analyze its costs, benefits, and feasibility as a replacement for high-stakes testing. Until now, researchers and policymakers have had to dig to find out what we know and what we still have to learn about performance assessment. Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning synthesizes the latest findings in the field, and not a moment too soon.
Statistics indicate that the United States is in danger of falling behind if it fails to adapt to our changing world. The memory and recall strategies of traditional testing are no longer adequate to equip our students with the skills they need to excel in the global economy. Instead teachers need to engage students in deeper learning, assessing their ability to use higher-order skills.
Skills like synthesizing information, understanding evidence, and critical problem-solving are not achieved when we teach to multiple-choice exams. Examples in Beyond the Bubble Test paint a useful picture of how schools can begin to supplement traditional tests with something that works better. This book provides new perspectives on current performance assessment research, plus an incisive look at what’s possible at the local and state levels.
Linda Darling-Hammond, with a team of leading scholars, bring together lessons learned, new directions, and solid recommendations into a single, readily accessible compendium. Beyond the Bubble Test situates the current debate on performance assessment within the context of testing in the United States. This comprehensive resource also looks beyond our U.S. borders to Singapore, Hong Kong, and other places whose reform-mindedness can serve as an example to us.
The Authors ix
1 Introduction: The Rationale and Context for Performance Assessment 1
Part o n e : Through a Looking Glass: Performance Assessment Past, Present, and Future 15
2 Looking Back: Performance Assessment in an Era of Standards-Based Educational Accountability 17
3 Where We Are Now: Lessons Learned and Emerging Directions 53
Raymond Pecheone and Stuart Kahl with the Assistance of Jillian Chingos and Ann Jaquith
4. Reaching Out: International Benchmarks for Performance Assessment 93
Linda Darling-Hammond with the Assistance of Laura Wentworth
Part t w o : Advances in Performance Assessment: Assessing and Supporting Learning 131
5 Performance Assessment: The State of the Art 133
6 Adapting Performance Assessments for English Language Learners 185
7 Supporting Teacher Learning through Performance Assessment 207
Linda Darling-Hammond and Beverly Falk
Part t h r e e : Policy and Performance Assessment: Developing Systems That Can Work 237
8 A New Conceptual Framework for Cost Analysis 239
Lawrence O. Picus, Frank Adamson, William Montague, and Margaret Owens
9 Investing in Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Tests That Help Students Learn 259
Barry Topol, John Olson, Ed Roeber, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Frank Adamson
10 Building Systems of Assessment for Deeper Learning 277
David T. Conley and Linda Darling-Hammond
11 Concluding Thoughts: Creating Next-Generation Assessments That Last 311
Linda Darling-Hammond, Frank Adamson, and Thomas Toch
Appendix A: State Performance Tasks 323
Appendix B: New Approaches to Performance Assessment 353
Appendix C: A Framework for Measuring the Costs, Expenditures, and Benefits of Performance Assessment 363
Appendix D: Spending for Interim Testing at the Local District Level 377
Name Index 423
Subject Index 429
LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education and Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education at Stanford University. Darling-Hammond is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education. Her research and policy work focuses on issues of educational equity, teaching quality, school reform, and performance assessment. Among Darling-Hammond’s over 300 publications are Preparing Teachers for a Changing World (with John Bransford, for the National Academy of Education) and The Right to Learn.
FRANK ADAMSON is a Policy and Research Analyst at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). He currently focuses on the adoption of assessments of deeper learning and twenty-first-century skills. He also conducts research on educational equity and opportunities to learn and has published on teacher salary differences within labor markets in New York and California.