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CCE staff and partner reflections on our collaborative work to create schools where learning is engaging and rewarding, and every student is set up for success.

Student Portfolios: Quality Performance Assessment in Action

Self-reflection is a powerful tool. It allows the student to tell their unique story as well as create connections between artifacts (work that is created by the students in their classes) and the knowledge and growth that they have gained throughout the school year. At CCE, we believe that assessments should ask students to use complex thinking in order to transfer knowledge and acquire skills that are applicable to real world situations. Portfolios are an example of an assessment that provide the students space to reflect and review both their past and future academic journeys.

As new interns, our introduction to CCE began by accompanying Laurie Gagnon, Director of Quality Performance Assessment, on site visits to Margarita Muñiz Academy and The Greene School to participate in portfolio presentations. At both Muñiz Academy and The Greene School (TGS), portfolio collections of student artifacts are used as performance milestones through which students demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to advance through high school.

Muñiz Academy is the first dual language school in Boston Public Schools, teaching in both English and Spanish. As an Innovation high school started in 2012, Muñiz Academy operates within a social justice framework through three main areas of focus: expeditionary learning, the arts, and technology. TGS is a charter public school in Rhode Island with a focus on expeditionary learning through the themes of sustainability and environmental stewardship. With a huge focus on community building and specialized ways of teaching concepts and making assessments, TGS aims to foster confidence and growth in each student.

Portfolios presentations at Muñiz Academy and TGS have both a written component as well as a presentation component. Each student shares their portfolio as a slideshow to an audience of their teachers, peers, and community members. Community members included educators at other local schools, former educators, members of education nonprofits, and other friends of the school. We joined the audience for the student presentations and provided feedback on the students' articulation of what they learned.

In the following posts, we will be sharing insights and reflections that we gained from attending portfolio presentations:

Part 1: Portfolios as a Vehicle for Meaningful Learning

Part 2: Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Part 3: Assessing Yourself in New Ways