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Resources & Guidance

"Ensuring that our students graduate with genuine opportunities for success in life...requires that we apply everything we know about the science of learning and the art of teaching."
Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr.

PLAN Pilot Webinar Series

NYSED has launched a PLAN Pilot Webinar Series to provide information on performance-based learning and assessment.  All webinars will be recorded and posted in our Video Gallery following the live event.  Join our listserv to receive notices of upcoming events.



Webinar 2: PBLA in Practice

(Performance-Based Learning & Assessment)

DATE: Wednesday, December 14, 2022

TIME: 4:00 - 5:00 PM ET

Click Here to REGISTER NOW!



Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The first installment of the PLAN Pilot Webinar Series featured special guest presenter Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, who discussed assessment for deeper learning.

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Related Materials & Research

Understanding Performance-Based Learning and Assessment
  • The Learning Policy Institute's report on the promise of performance assessments provides the field with a comprehensive review of how these assessments are being used in the United States and abroad as innovations in high school learning and college admissions, the potential they hold for educational equity, and their value for guiding teaching and learning and better conveying what students know and can do.

Curtis, Diane, Linda Darling-Hammond, Roneeta Guha, Terri Taylor, and Tony Wagner.  The promise of performance assessments: Innovations in high school learning and college admission. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute. (2018).

  • In Possible Future, Carol Lee presents a vision for how a multidimensional conception of learning and development that fosters deeper student learning may be integrated into public education by improving educator capacity and building more robust curriculum that allows students to engage in hands-on learning experiences and be assessed through multiple modes of measurement.

Lee, Carol D. "Possible futures: A curriculum that promotes civic ends and meets developmental needs." Kappan 103, no. 3 (2021): 54-57.

  • Marc Chun provides examples of performance tasks and discusses how the use of these tasks enable college professors to link pedagogical and assessment practices as a viable approach to support students in developing transferable, higher-order thinking skills.  While this article is aimed at college professors, it could be useful for high school teachers as well.

Chun, Marc. "Taking teaching to (performance) task: Linking pedagogical and assessment practices." Change: The Magazine of Higher Education. (2010, March/April).

Strategies for Implementing Performance-Based Learning and Assessment
  • In 2021, the Center for Assessment investigated issues related to the relationship between the use of complex performance assessments and efforts to promote instructional practices that improve student learning.  Enhancing the impact of performance assessments on instruction outlines a strategy for how state agencies and local districts can promote and monitor instructional changes to support the successful adoption of performance-based models.

Evans, Carla, and Sarah Wellberg. "Enhancing the impact of performance assessments on instruction: A research-based framework monitoring the use of performance assessments to promote positive instructional change." The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. (2021, August 11).

  • Scott Marion presents a high-level design of a through year system anchored in rich performance assessment tasks that may enhance deeper learning for students and teachers.

Marion, Scott. "All I wanted for Christmas was a through year assessment system that promotes deeper learning: Fulfilling the promise of performance-based assessment." The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. (2022, January 11).

Resources for Advancing Deeper Learning
  • Watch this series of video interviews conducted by the Learning Policy Institute with educators and representatives from successful deeper learning networks, including Big Picture Learning and the Internationals Network, to learn about Strategies and Practices to Advance Deeper Learning.  Hear from practitioners about cross-site learning opportunities, job-embedded professional development, community building practices, and other systems and structures in place to support deeper learning in these networks.

Learning Policy Institute. Video feature: Strategies and practices to advance deeper learning [Video].  (2020).

  • In Taking Deeper Learning to Scale, the Learning Policy Institute analyzes the efforts of schools and school districts to improve academic achievement.  Through case studies of 3 diverse schools, this report highlights the need for a more deliberate focus on creating conditions that promote highly effective teaching and support deeper learning.  Read about how Brockton High School in Massachusetts used deeper learning as a strategy to improve student achievement and all of the obstacles the school overcame to implement changes in teaching, learning, and school culture.

Nogurea, Pedro A.  Taking deeper learning to scale.  Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute, (2017).

  • Explore this interactive playbook of Design Principles for Schools to learn about the guiding principles for putting the science of learning and development into action.  This resource provides a framework on how practitioners can implement structures and practices that support student learning and development and illuminates the multiple ways that schools can be designed to support all learners.

Learning Policy Institute and Turnaround for Children.  Design principles for schools: Putting the science of learning and development into action.  (2021).

  • Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning studies the work of teacher education programs in meeting the challenge of preparing teacher candidates for deeper learning, finding that effective programs teach and support their candidates in the same ways they want the candidates to teach and support children.  This research brief on the Learning Policy Institute's publication describes strategies and guidelines for preparing teacher candidates to enact deeper learning.  While the study is directed at teacher preparation programs, it could be useful to middle and high school teachers as well.

Cook-Harvey, Channa, Linda Darling-Hammond, Roneeta Guha, Akeelah Harrell, Maria E. Hyler, Tara Kini, Charmaine Mercer, Jeannie Oakes, Anne Podolsky, and Steve Wojcikiewicz.  Preparing teachers for deeper learning (research brief).  Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute, (2019).

Research on Promising Models
  • The Learning Policy Institute examined Big Picture Learning in this study of successful deeper learning networks.  Among other key findings, the Learning Policy Institute highlighted Big Picture Learning's vision for deeper learning and equity, collaboration with stakeholders, multifaceted professional learning supports, and evolution of practices and structures to improve the quality of its approach and the spread of deeper learning.

Bradley, Kathryn, and Laura E. Hernandez. Big Picture Learning: Spreading relationships, relevance, and rigor one student at a time. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute, (2019).

  • In this case study of Chicago Public Schools, enrollment in International Baccalaureate programs is found to have a positive correlation with student achievement, high school graduation, and college attendance for disadvantaged urban youth, particularly for male students.

Saavedra, Anna Rosefsky. "The academic impact of enrollment in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs: A case study of Chicago Public Schools." Teachers College Record 116 (2014).

  • The Learning Policy Institute examined the Internationals Network for Public Schools in this study of a deeper learning approach to supporting English Learners.  Among other findings, the Learning Policy Institute highlighted the Internationals Network's dedication to deepening and sustaining local investment as key to the model's success in supporting rigorous academics, linguistic dignity, and bilingualism using a deeper learning approach.

Hernandez, Laura E., Martens Roc, and Peter Ross.  Internationals Network for Public Schools: A deeper learning approach to supporting English Learners.  Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute, (2019).

Fine, Michelle, and Karyna Pryiomka. Assessing college readiness through authentic student work: How the City University of New York and the New York Performance Standards Consortium are collaborating toward equity. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute, (2020).

Domanico, Ray. The transformation of public high schools in New York City. New York, NY: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Inc., (2022).

National Models and Trends in Performance Assessment
  • In their 2021 Measuring Forward report, KnowledgeWorks teamed up with several education organizations to examine trends in innovative K-12 assessment practices across the nation.  This report summarizes current issues spurring new visions for assessment systems, emerging assessment designs, and how states are working to build capacity for successful - and sustainable - system change.

Aurora Institute, the Center for Assessment, the Center for Innovation in Education, Envision Learning Partners, the Great Schools Partnership, and KnowledgeWorks. "Measuring Forward: Emerging Trends in K-12 Assessment Innovation." KnowledgeWorks. (2021, November 08).

  • Linda Darling-Hammond of the Learning Policy Institute weighs models for state performance assessment systems in this detailed analysis of integrating performance-based components into assessment systems.  This paper compares various forms of assessments by providing examples from around the world of differing uses of performance-based items.

Darling-Hammond, Linda. "Developing and measuring higher order skills: Models for state performance assessment systems." Council of Chief State School Officers. (2017).

  • How do states integrate performance assessment in their systems of assessment?  In 2018, scholars guided by this question found 4 approaches to integrating performance-based assessments were being employed by states across the nation - including using them as part of high school graduation requirements.  In this article, the scholars analyze how different states utilized these different approaches.

Snyder, Jon, Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, and Katie Wilczak. "How do states integrate performance assessment in their systems of assessment?" Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26(13). (2018).