Gail Robinson writes in the HECHINGER Report about the success of the New York Performance Sttandards Consortium. The Consortium has operated for more than 20 years,flying under the radar of the test zealots.
“While most New York students must pass state exams in five subjects to graduate, the consortium’s 38 schools have a state waiver allowing their students to earn a diploma by passing just one exam: comprehensive English. (An additional nine schools have a partial waiver.) Instead, in all subjects including English, the students must demonstrate skill mastery in practical terms. They design experiments, make presentations, write reports and defend their work to outside experts.
Getting a waiver is not easy. The number the state grants is limited, and the alternative methods of assessing students can mean far more work for teachers. The schools’ funding is not affected.
“Proponents say the alternative system is worth the…
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