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Performance Task Assessment & the CWRA: Better Goal-Posts for Student Learning

Session 5
Pam Moran, Jonathan Martin — Albemarle County Public School

Performance Task assessment, whereby students are posed a challenging, real-world situated problem and presented associated documents for critical review and analysis and required to respond with a thoughtful, creative essay answer, is a different and better way to evaluate student learning. Performance task assessment is coming to public education in CCSS participating states in the new assessments being developed by PARCC and Smarter Balanced. The College Work Readiness Assessment is used by about 100 US high schools, public and private, and its analogue the Collegiate Learning Assessment, is used by a about 300 colleges and universities. Jonathan Martin has used CWRA for three years at his independent school; Pam Moran is beginning use of CWRA and is deploying Performance Task Assessments K-12 in her district, using it to assess contemporary learning growth w students, as tool for assessing professional learning needs among staff, and to assess curricular applications w/in across discipline: together they will host and facilitate this conversation.

Conversational Practice

We have a number of ideas and intentions for making this more of a conversation than a presentation: we intend to share sample performance task assessments and invite groups to spend a short time discussing how they'd approach and answer the challenge, what skills and learning will need to have been learned to succeed, and how these tasks can evolve toward becoming more authentic and more rigorous. We'll ask groups to consider how and where performance task assessments can be embedded in their schools, and ask groups to conduct a gallery walk of sorts on large post-its writing to us and each other their sense of the pros, cons, questions, and improvements that we can make to make performance task assessment more meaningful for students and educators.

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