Book Review

Performance-Based Education

Developing Programs Through Strategic Planning

by Mark A. Baron, Floyd Boschee and Marlene Jacobson, Rowman and Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2008, 156 pp. with index, $55 hardcover, $24.95 softcover

The implementation of personalized learning requires an analysis of curriculum delivery and clear academic targets. This may require an overhaul of curriculum and instruction, a formidable task. But in Performance-Based Education: Developing Programs Through Strategic Planning, the authors attempt to demonstrate how this outcome can be successfully achieved when the school district is prepared to work collaboratively.

Performance-Based Education: Developing Programs Through Strategic Planning

The primary purpose of this book is to reintroduce educators to the concept of measurement of individual student learning outcomes through demonstrated performances — that is, to give each student the opportunity to work toward clearly identified external goals (state and national standards). In doing so, not only educators but students themselves gain a clear idea of what they are aiming for academically and why.

Such personalization requires open lines of communication and collaboration. The authors clearly articulate the framework for developing an effective communication system that will ensure both transparency and trust.

They explain in considerable detail how to develop the strategic planning process beginning with a beliefs analysis and identification of learning outcomes for specific subjects and concluding with authentic classroom assessment. The final chapter focuses on alternative approaches to restructuring the school organization to deliver performance-based education.

Reviewed by Valerie A. Storey, assistant professor of educational leadership, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla.