Elbow & Belanoff, “Portfolios as a Substitute…”

Elbow, Peter and Pat Belanoff. “Portfolios as a Substitute for Proficiency Examinations” AW

Elbow and Belanoff advocate for portfolio assessment to replace proficiency examinations. As they write, portfolios allow for multiple samples of student writing across several writing contexts and genres. Such an assessment offers a more capacious profile of a student’s writing ability. However, Elbow and Belanoff draw their attention particularly at the way that the portfolio system encourages collaboration among teachers during calibration/scoring sessions. “When teachers work in isolation they often drift into believing that they use standards made in heaven—that they know what A and F means” (99). The authors write that teachers become more accountable when they are “negotiating together in a community to make collaborative judgments” (100).

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