"Some states say they are are using multiple measures to evaluate student progress. But they are really just slicing and dicing the same standardized test scores — not using different kinds of measures."
Examples of real multiple measures abound. Among many possibilities, they include science labs and field work, from short tasks to extended projects; oral presentations in any subject; extended math problems that require application to real world uses; and in-depth history reports, presented orally, in an essay, a PowerPoint, etc.
The complex question is how to put these measures together plausibly and defensibly, but this has been done in the United States and other nations. (For more discussion and examples, see FairTest’s Multiple Measures fact sheet. (http://tinyurl.com/7z68b5p)
Freed from the strictures of high-stakes testing, Finland (http://tinyurl.com/6gme85g) has achieved great success using true multiple measures. Finnish education (http://tinyurl.com/7mdgtoy) authorities periodically evaluate samples of students’ classroom work to determine the quality of teaching and learning in each school. The nation often ranks at or near first in various international comparisons (http://tinyurl.com/6s4of8r).
From Australia to Singapore to England, nations have found ways to use performance tasks and classroom-based evidence to evaluate how well students are doing and to inform school improvement efforts.