Ready for the Future: The Role of Performance Assessments in Shaping Graduates’ Academic, Professional, and Personal Lives

Laurie Gagnon

The perspectives of high school graduates offer a valuable source of understanding for educators and policymakers on how to ensure high quality performance assessments can prepare all students for work and college.

Through a series of in-depth interviews with graduates from three Boston Public Schools with established performance-based assessment systems, the study analyzes graduates’ preparation for future academic, professional, and personal endeavors. Graduates describe the process of learning from performance assessment, the ways their learning prepared them for future schooling or work, and the areas in which they faced challenges. 

[Performance assessments are] more like the real world [than tests]. It's more like what is actually going to happen. If I have a problem, I will find out how to do it.