Letter

Performance Assessments and ‘Cockeyed Optimism’

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

To the Editor:

Peter J. McWalters, Rhode Island’s education commissioner who is stepping down next year, should be commended for adhering to his principles, but condemned for his cockeyed optimism ("Outgoing R.I. Chief Bucked National Push for High-Stakes Tests,” May 7, 2008).

Should high school graduation really be based on performance assessments such as senior projects and portfolios, as Mr. McWalters believes? That posture might be appropriate if he were president of the National Education Association, but as a state education official, he is simply out of touch with reality.

As someone who spent 34 years in a Massachusetts public school classroom, I am certain that both senior projects and portfolios are too easily compromised (that’s code for cheating). Teachers, parents, administrators, fellow students, siblings—anyone can contribute to the final product of these or similar subjective measures. While many offering assistance may simply be trying to help marginal students in their attempt to graduate from high school, both of these alleged assessments too easily tempt the inappropriate.

Paul Hoss
Marshfield, Mass.

Vol. 27, Issue 39, Pages 26-27

Published in Print: June 4, 2008, as Performance Assessments And ‘Cockeyed Optimism’

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Vocabulary Development for Striving Readers

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >