Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A. William Place
Performance assessment is the formal and informal judgments of how well people complete observable tasks. The two most common uses of the term performance assessment in education relate to student achievement and employees, such as teachers, completing the functions of their jobs. The first use the assessment serves is what has been called the American meritocracy, which is a way of determining who gets America's material rewards. Intelligence tests, and also education itself, can't be counted on to find every form of merit. They don't find wisdom, originality, humor, toughness, empathy, common sense, independence, or determination—let alone moral value. Student performance assessment is not presently able to provide opportunity on the basis of the various forms of merit that a true meritocracy should have, but it can measure some preestablished academic criteria. One important caution that has been noted by some is that we need to be aware of the ...