The development and implementation of PAL has been a three-year project involving an iterative design process that included a pilot study of the tasks and formal field trial of the assessment system.

  • November 2012–June 2013: various stakeholders design PAL
  • September 2013–June 2014: Pilot commences
  • September 2014–May 2015: Field Trial commences
  • November 2015: Standards Setting Committee recommends cut scores to the Commissioner based on Field Trial results


The PAL is now operational. The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education has established the performance assessment standards for PAL, resulting in two components of scoring that a candidate must meet or exceed:

  1. The minimum threshold score (cut score) for each task of 2.1 (on a 4-point scale), and
  2. A total passing score for Program Year 2015–16, of 2.5 (on a 4-point scale). Beginning with Program Year 2016–17, the total passing score will shift to 2.75. The 2.5 total passing score is used in 2015–16 only, in order to support the first year of full implementation for PAL and efforts made by the field and leadership candidates to adapt to this new assessment.
chart that describes when you need to submit your portfolio to receive your score by a specific date
Tasks Threshold score per task Total passing score:
Total passing score:
Beginning in 2016–17
Task 12.1
Task 22.1
Task 32.1
Task 42.1

A candidate's overall task score is based on an average of the indicator scores for that task. A candidate's total PAL score is based on an average of the four tasks' overall scores. For more information, please refer to the memo regarding the Commissioner's decision for PAL passing scores Link opens in a new window..

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