Kentucky’s history with ‘performance’ assessments: Bluegrass Institute Policy Report offers ‘rest of the story’
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – A new Bluegrass Institute report, “Selling “Performance” Assessments with Inaccurate Pictures from Kentucky,” was released today in a conference call with reporters. The paper cautions state education leaders nationwide regarding growing pressure triggered by the Common Core State Standards to add “performance” testing ideas into their new school-assessment programs – especially if such decisions are based on notions that such approaches proved highly successful in Kentucky.
“Authorities in charge of state assessment programs deserve to know the full story about what happened when Kentucky tried – and failed – with similar approaches,” Bluegrass Institute staff education analyst Richard Innes said.
Innes’ new report details failures of many assessment elements in Kentucky’s long-discarded Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS) such as “Math Portfolios,” “Writing Portfolios” and “Performance Events.” He also discusses problems with excessive turn-around time for results and high costs.
Innes says reintroduction of KIRIS-like assessment elements in Kentucky were discussed at the Kentucky Board of Education’s annual retreat meeting last summer, and similar efforts have recently been reported in other states such as South Carolina, as well. He strongly urges assessment policymakers to understand what happened with KIRIS before making what could easily become extremely expensive, repeat mistakes.