A mastery-based learning program was implemented at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, Conn., by Principal Donna Hayward. Ms. Hayward was named the 2023 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary Principals. The vision of the program, created for graduating seniors, is to ensure all students are prepared for college, career, and civic life through multiple and flexible pathways for learning, including mastery-based systems of accountability for student growth. Principal Hayward, center, stands in the school library with four seniors who completed the program (from left), Abby Jones, 17, of Killingworth, Jack Fergusson, 17, of Haddam, Callen Powers, 17, of Haddam, and Anadalay Garcia, 18, of Higganum.
Principal Donna Hayward, center, and graduating seniors (from left), Abby Jones, Jack Ferguson, Callen Powers, and Anadalay Garcia, said they all learned something from the their state's graduation assessment project. They gathered at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, Conn., on April 20, 2023.
Christopher Capozziello for Education Week
Assessment Fighting Senioritis? This New Requirement Kept a Graduating Class Engaged
These seniors were the first to test a new state requirement to reflect on what they had learned over four years of high school.
Elizabeth Heubeck, April 21, 2023
6 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School & District Management Opinion Let's Dump the Obsession With Standardized Testing
Digital portfolios and student, faculty, and family surveys to gauge school culture are more robust ways to measure school effectiveness.
Larry Ferlazzo, March 8, 2022
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
English-Language Learners Opinion Assessment Strategies for English-Language Learners
Four educators share practical assessment strategies to support English-language learners.
Larry Ferlazzo, April 18, 2021
12 min read
Teaching Opinion Instead of Standardized Testing, Consider Portfolio Assessment
Since learning is so nuanced, so too should be the means in which we assess it. Let's offer students the opportunity to be seen as whole people who can demonstrate different skills and knowledge in a plethora of ways over a period of time.
Starr Sackstein, April 29, 2019
4 min read
Student Achievement Opinion Three Powerful Examples of School Districts Using Capstones and Portfolios
Colorado's guidelines for graduation offer a menu of options including performance-based demonstrations of college and career readiness such as portfolios and capstone projects.
Contributing Blogger, March 4, 2019
3 min read
Assessment Video K-12 Performance Assessment Terms Explained
Interest is growing in assessing students’ learning by having them show what they can do with what they know. But educators often disagree about what terms like performance assessment and project-based learning really mean in the classroom. In an effort to clear up some of the confusion, Education Week writers developed definitions for six performance-assessment related terms, including proficiency-based learning, project-based learning, standards-based grading, and portfolios. See the results in this animated glossary.
February 25, 2019
Personalized Learning Opinion The Gift of Portfolio Defense: A Parent's Perspective
In my work, I wholeheartedly believe in the power and efficacy of a portfolio defense model, and am genuinely excited to share it with audiences of educators, funders, and thought leaders. But until I had one of my own children attend an Envision school and witnessed his 12th grade defense presentation, my rallying cry for portfolio defense was professional, not personal.
Contributing Blogger, August 15, 2018
4 min read
Assessment Ed. Dept. Policing ESSA Rules on Portfolio Assessments for Students With Disabilities
The Every Student Succeeds Act says that portfolios, or collections of student work, can only be part of how a student is assessed for accountability purposes.
Christina A. Samuels, April 18, 2018
2 min read
Assessment Opinion Portfolio Assessment: Virtues, Vices, and Examples
Portfolios can be powerful forms of assessment, but they must be done right to reap their benefits.
Contributing Blogger, March 1, 2018
3 min read
Personalized Learning Opinion The Virtues and Vices of Portfolio Assessment
A portfolio lends itself naturally to assessment, whose aim is to collect evidence to answer a question about learning or performance.
Contributing Blogger, February 1, 2018
2 min read
College & Workforce Readiness A New Push to Use Student Projects in College Admissions
A new initiative aims to focus college admissions less on standardized test scores, and more on student projects.
Catherine Gewertz, January 19, 2018
4 min read
Education Opinion To Build Critical Thinking Skills, Students Need a Platform
Student portfolios help teach students the essential habit of independent thinking.
Matthew Lynch, February 17, 2017
4 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion A Letter to My Former Teachers: Reflections and Optimism
An experience in learning about Envisions' portfolio defense made on teacher realize how much she learned from her teachers.
Contributing Blogger, November 3, 2016
3 min read
Teaching Opinion Preparing Students for Portfolio Defense to Build Agency
At Envision schools, strong relationships, a college-going culture, and project-based learning prepare students for their culminating portfolio defense, which builds their agency.
Contributing Blogger, August 4, 2016
6 min read