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Hawaii Student Performance-Based Assessment (PBA)


Hawaii’s unique Career and Technical Education Performance-Based Assessments evaluate students’ ability to apply the academic and technical skills and knowledge they have learned in their Career and Technical Education Programs of Study. Each Program of Study Performance-Based Assessment includes a challenge from a local or national business or organization asking students to develop a solution, strategy, and/or product to solve a problem facing the business or organization offering the challenge.


Partnering with local or national businesses and organizations, the Career and Technical Program Office of the Hawaii State Department of Education develops a challenge for each Program of Study included in the Performance-Based Assessment. After the parameters of the individual challenges are determined, students in the particular Program of Study are given a topic for which they must prepare a technical writing paper. The topic is related to the challenge but the students do not know what the actual challenge will be.


The technical writing papers are scored and are one part of the assessment process. The second part of the process is the Performance-Based Assessment. The Performance-Based Assessment is a two-day event. On the morning of the first day, the business/organization partners introduce the challenge for each specific Program of Study and explain the parameters and expectations of the challenge. Students spend the rest of the day developing and creating their responses. Students may ask the business and organization partners for clarification regarding the challenge parameters and expectations but teachers are not allowed to assist the students in any way. On the second day of the Performance-Based Assessment, students make formal presentations to panels of business and industry professionals to explain the rationale for their solution and display and/or demonstrate a product or strategy when appropriate. Judges then ask questions to obtain additional information, clarification, or greater detail about the students’ proposed solution.


The Performance-Based Assessment is structured differently for students in the Entrepreneurship and Marketing Programs of Study. Students in these Programs of Study spend the entire school year researching and writing a Business or Marketing Plan. There are several rounds of formal presentations by Entrepreneurship Program of Study students where they “pitch” their plans for a small business initiative to panels of business professionals during the Performance-Based Assessment event. Marketing Program of Study students develop a marketing plan and implement one of the proposed strategies during the school year. On the first day of the Performance-Based Assessment event, students meet with mentors to discuss the results of the implemented strategy and then refine their proposals. On the second day of the event, students make formal presentations to panels of business professionals explaining their marketing strategies.