Performance Assessments & Local Alternative Assessments
News & Announcements
January 28, 2019 – As announced in Superintendent’s Memo 025-19-This is a Word document., on January 24, 2019, the Virginia Board of Education adopted Guidelines for Local Alternative Assessments for 2018-2019 through 2019-2020-This is a Word document. to provide guidance to school division staff with continued implementation of local alternative assessments for Grade 3 History, Grade 3 Science, Grade 5 Writing, United States History to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to the Present.
Performance assessments measure subject-matter proficiency and the ability of students to apply the content and skills they have learned. Performance assessments may also assess acquisition of the “Five C’s” – critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship – described in the Board of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate. Performance assessments are designed to encourage deeper learning and are an essential component of a balanced testing program.
The Virginia Department of Education – supported by a $1.1 million grant from the Hewlett Foundation – is developing resources and regional and statewide professional learning opportunities to help school divisions develop the capacity to design performance assessments and provide instruction that supports deeper learning.
Information about new resources and opportunities will be posted on this page of the VDOE website as it becomes available.
Local Alternative Assessments
The 2014 General Assembly eliminated five Standards of Learning assessments in grades 3-7 while requiring local school divisions to continue to teach the content and measure student achievement with local alternative assessments, including authentic or performance assessments.
School divisions must certify that they have provided instruction and administered an alternative assessment, consistent with Board of Education guidelines, to students in grades and subject areas that no longer have a corresponding SOL test.
Guidelines for Local Alternative Assessments 2016-2017 through 2018-2019-This is a PDF document. – As announced in Superintendent’s Memo #284-16, the new local alternative assessment guidelines replace the Local Alternative Assessment Guidelines for 2014-2015-This is a PDF document. (PDF) originally adopted by the board in September 2014. The new guidelines clarify the expectation that school divisions are to demonstrate progress in moving toward the use of performance assessments in their schools. School divisions are expected to use the Framework for Local Alternative Assessment Implementation included in the new guidelines to assess their progress in implementing performance assessments.
Resources from VDOE
- Virginia Quality Criteria Tool for Performance Assessments-This is a Word document. – details a set of criteria for the development of performance assessments that measure the application of content knowledge and skills.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Performance Assessment-This is a Word document. – provides information related to the use of performance tasks and performance assessments that are not used to verify credit (updated February 2019)
- Assessment Literacy Glossary-This is a Word document. – a list of terms and definitions related to Local Alternative Assessments. (updated February 2019)
- The Framework for Local Alternative Assessment Implementation-This is a PDF document. (PDF) – provides common language for school divisions to use in determining their progress in implementing performance assessments and in identifying next steps.
- Play Video: Audio Walk-Through of the Framework for Alternative Assessment Implementation
- Performance Task Development Cycle (PDF) – a flow chart for the development of performance tasks
Common rubrics provide criteria for evaluating student work on performance assessments. For courses in which performance assessments serve as local alternative assessments, it is expected that the common rubric be used. Additional rubrics, if available, will be located on the content page.
- English – Information regarding performance assessments used to verify credits in End-of-Course Writing is located on the English Instruction web page, in the Standards of Learning Documents for English – Adopted 2017 table, under the heading "Resources for Instruction & Assessment."
- Grade 5 Writing Blueprint and Rubric-This is a Word document. – rubric based on the 2010 English Standards of Learning for use during the 2018-2019 school year
- Grade 5 Writing-This is a Word document. – draft rubric based on the 2017 English Standards of Learning
- Menu of Grade 5 Writing Options-This is a Word document. – draft for use during the 2018-2019 school year
- History and Social Science – drafts for use during the 2018-2019 school year based on the 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning. As the common rubrics for history and social science are not grade or course specific, school divisions have the opportunity and autonomy to select the common rubric that best suits the needs of their students.
- Science – drafts for use during the 2018-2019 school year based on the 2018 Science Standards of Learning
- Performance Assessment Assurances: Next Steps for Leading Deeper Learning in Virginia – Conference materials from sessions offered in May and June of 2018
- Assessing For Deeper Learning: A Transformative Pathway to Prepare Virginia Students for the Future-This is a Word document. – 2016 Conference Materials