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Psychometric Considerations for Performance Assessment With Implications for Policy and Practice

Tucker, Charlene G.
Publication Year:
Report of the Center for K-12 Assessment & Performance Management
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Performance Assessment, Policy, Practice, K-12 Assessments, Reliability, Generalizability, Psychometric Challenges, Psychometrics


Performance assessments are used to measure performance in education, work, and everyday life. Perhaps the public’s most commonly experienced performance assessment is the driver’s examination—a combination of multiple-choice1 questions probing knowledge of driving laws (etc.) and performance tasks measuring actual driving under real-world conditions. In education, content standards for guiding K-12 education systems have been revised recently to better support the preparation of our students for the current and future expectations of post-secondary college and career. States are likewise collaborating to develop and implement common assessment systems with a corresponding focus on critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, a focus that is increasingly bringing performance assessment into mainstream K-12 educational assessment. While a primary focus of this report is the integration of performance assessment into K-12 educational assessment programs, the measurement concepts explored speak to other fields, including licensure and certification, civilian or military jobs, and performance in sports. Research findings and illustrative examples throughout the report are therefore drawn from education and beyond.

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