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Will Teachers Embrace Portfolio Assessment?

Portfoliogate has just come up as a big issue in the campaign (see Mike Petrilli here and my colleague Michele McNeil here).

It's great to see such a wonky topic outside the field attracting attention. Of course, I want to hear more discussion about the teacher implications. And it seems that like so much else in education, this is a matter of tradeoffs: Portfolio assessments certainly have the potential to give teachers richer information about student achievement than standardized tests alone. But they are also a lot of work for teachers to create and to score.

Nebraska, the only state to use local rather than statewide assessment instruments for NCLB accountability, has already dealt with this issue. The state, I'm told, did massive amounts of training on how to create assessments aligned to curricula and state standards. But the training takes a lot of teachers' time. (Ed Week's Katie Ash touches on this in her story here.)

What do our teachers out there think?

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