Student Performance Assessments and Teacher Learning

TeacherLearning-COVERAs the internationally benchmarked Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are adopted in states across the country, educators are seeking ways to support an increasingly diverse student population to meet these more demanding expectations. The likelihood that students will achieve the aims of the standards will be substantially shaped by how well teachers teach  challenging academic skills in ways that support a wide range of learners.

Teachers’ understanding of the standards and their grasp of how to teach them will also influence whether the new assessments provide useful insights, rather than harmful side effects, particularly for those students who have historically been least well served by their schools.

A new report, authored by Linda Darling-Hammond and Beverly Falk for the Center for American Progress, describes the promise of teacher learning through involvement with student-performance assessments and explores how performance assessment has been utilized in the United States and around the world, particularly in countries that have been recognized for their high-performing educational systems.

This report also includes several recommendations for ensuring performance assessments help teachers develop the knowledge and skills necessary to improve student learning.

  • Ensure that performance assessment is integral to the learning system.
  • Include performance tasks as part of assessments.
  • Ensure that rubrics for scoring assessments are clear and explicit.
  • Involve teachers in collaborative scoring of assessments.
  • Expand opportunities for teachers to engage in assessment.
  • Provide teachers with coaching and professional development around assessment.
  • Build communities of practice to inform performance-assessment work.

For more information, and a link to the full report, please visit: