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Performance Assessment on a Platter--But Will Teachers Partake?

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


Performance Assessment in Learning Science (PALS) is an on-line (, standards-based, continually updated resource bank of science performance assessment tasks. This paper presents a case study of an urban school district that had an opportunity to access the PALS Web site during the 1999-2000 school year. It details what worked and what did not, and why. The school district comprises 35 schools, kindergarten through high school. About 52% of students live below the poverty level. Teachers from the early grades participated in the case study, with PALS to be introduced at upper grades over the next few years. The district has been implementing Living in the New Computer Oriented Learning 'Nvironment (Project LINCOL'N) for the past 5 years, and the successful use of this project supports science education in the district. After initial enthusiasm, there seemed to be a decline in the use of PALS by teachers, who felt that they did not have the time and patience to go through the necessary searches. Teachers did like the PALS site because it emulates the classic approach of gathering data, making observations, solving a problem, and writing a conclusion. One conclusion from the PALS experience is that district users have to avoid the temptation to use a passive presentation approach. Recommendations are made for improving access to the PALS site and site organization. (SLD)


Kerins, C.T. (2000). Performance Assessment on a Platter--But Will Teachers Partake?. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2000. Retrieved June 5, 2020 from .

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