The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.


Statewide performance assessments have gone in and out of vogue for over 30 years. While embraced as authentic representations of student work, they often prove burdensome for standardized assessment purposes. They can be a strong addition to a balanced assessment system—when implemented well for the right purposes. State policymakers looking to bring performance assessments to their schools need to think deeply about their purpose and intended use.


Performance Assessments: Promises and Pitfalls



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Also In this Issue

States Experiment with Assessment through Innovative Pilots

By Joseph Hedger

Five states received federal waivers for regular assessments so they could pilot assessment systems in select districts or schools over five years.





Performance Assessments: Promises and Pitfalls

By Marianne Perie

By learning from the past, state boards can add depth and relevance to their assessment systems.





We Should Listen to the Canaries

By Ellen Forte

How alternate assessments for students with disabilities and English learners can point us toward better systems for all.





How a Crisis Can Transform Learning, Teaching, and Assessment

By Abby Javurek and Jason Mendenhall

State policymakers should take the opportunity to reimagine their education systems.






Breakthrough or Breakdown? School Accountability in Flux

By Chris Domaleski

Time to steer systems toward better balance and coherence.





Test-Based Accountability in Distressed Times

By Chester E. Finn Jr. and Eric A. Hanushek

State leaders should stick with their assessments because they improve student learning and school performance.





Four Test Questions for State Boards

By Abigail Potts

These questions can help frame conversations on assessment approval and intersections with state accountability.





A Shifting Landscape for State Testing

By Lynn Olson

It is important to understand the history of state summative assessment in the United States.








Featured Items

Young girl at fountain. Image credit: iStock i

Using Federal Funds to Remediate Lead

This NASBE analysis highlights ways state leaders can leverage the current policy climate and available federal funds to better support school districts in lead remediation so that all children have access to clean drinking water in schools.
Image Credit: iStock i

The Role of Schools in Racial Justice

Authors in this issue argue schools can progress toward educational equity only if, at every challenge, state leaders are willing to make decisions that put the needs of our most vulnerable students first.

Paolo DeMaria Selected as NASBE’s Next President and CEO

DeMaria most recently served as Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction and brings 30 years in state education policymaking, organizational leadership, and strategic planning to NASBE. He becomes NASBE’s president and CEO in January 2022.

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