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The Uses and Limits of Performance Assessment


In this article from the May issue of Phi Delta Kappan, Elliot Eisner looks at performance assessment in the context of education reform. Eisner describes the benefits of using performance assessments in schools and notes that "while assessment practices that are open-ended make possible the assessment of individuals, they may not provide the kind of global comparative 'temperature taking' that a public anxious about the educational productivity of its schools seems to want." Eisner challenges educators to try to create performance assessments that identify individual students' strengths without encouraging competitions among schools.