Assumptions Underlying Performance Assessment Reforms Intended to Improve Instructional Practices: A Research-Based Framework




There is renewed interest around including performance assessments in state and local assessment systems to spur positive changes in classroom instruction and student learning. Previous research has identified the external conditions that mediate the role of assessment in changing instructional practices. We extend that work by focusing on the internal classroom conditions that support improvements in student learning. We identified six key instructional practices from three teacher quality frameworks that may result from policy changes that include complex, performance-based assessments. For each practice, we explored the bidirectional relationships among the instructional core of students, teachers, and content. We argue that altering these relationships requires teachers and students to have both the disposition and the capacity to change, and we identify the assumptions that need to hold in order for those changes to occur in response to the inclusion of performance assessments in state and/or local assessment systems.