Measuring What Really Matters

In this Kappan article, the authors suggest that current assessment systems are largely "flawed" and that they should be improved through the addition of performance assessments. The article describes a brief history of the failed 1990s performance assessment movement and how many of those problems have been corrected. The authors support their recommendation for a more balanced assessment system with several examples. This article includes a single reference from the authors' 2014 book on performance assessment.  

Content Comments 

The purposes of this article are clearly described. However, the authors' supporting evidence is generally weak, including just one reference to their own book. The authors recommend performance assessment as an important addition to a comprehensive assessment system. But issues of time, cost, and validity need stronger evidence than provided in this article to overcome the current backlash against too much testing. Performance assessments, in particular take more time for students to answer and more time for someone to score than most other types of assessment. Nevertheless, the authors' ideas deserve a voice. Communications quality including writing and design are excellent. Utility should be reasonable, especially for performance assessment advocates. As already suggested, evidence of effectiveness is not discussed but the publication itself may lead to continuing efforts for better assessment systems.