VASCD Journal

Journal 2015

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Page 36 of 140

PERFORMANCE TASKS Assessing 21st-Century Skills With Performance Tasks: e Five-Year Journey of a Large School Division Douglas G. Wren, Ed.D Doug Wren works with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Department of Planning, Innovation, and Accountability as an Assessment Specialist. He is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations at Old Dominion University. Prior to moving to Virginia Beach, Doug taught elementary school and worked in the Department of Research and Evaluation with the DeKalb County School District in Georgia. He can be reached at This article describes the development of the Integrated Performance Task (IPT), a series of assessments designed to measure critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication. The IPT has been administered to students in grades four and seven in Virginia Beach City Public Schools since 2010. The evolution of the IPT is explained in four areas: rubric development, task creation, reviewing and editing, and scoring responses. The ideas presented in the article may be replicated or modified for developing performance tasks at the classroom, school, or division levels. Introduction After years of relying primarily on multiple-choice test results to make important decisions about American students, teachers, and schools, the general attitude towards this type of assessment appears to be shifting. There is widespread disillusionment with the prolific use of state-mandated, multiple-choice tests brought about by No Child Left Behind (Darling-Hammond, 2014). Only 26% of over 10,000 teachers surveyed for Primary Sources 2012: America's Teacher on the Teaching Profession (Scholastic & Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2012) maintained that the results of standardized tests accurately reflect student 2015 Vol. 12 Virginia Educational Leadership 37

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