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Are Digital Portfolios a Realistic Alternative
to Standardized Testing?
Poll takers and those who commented were evenly divided on this issue
If We Had the Time
If as much time and e ort were put
into creating authentic student portfolios as is put into prepping students for
standardized tests we would get to see
what our students are really capable of.
Park Hill High School
Kansas City, Missouri
There Is No Question
As a genuine way to demonstrate
student learning, there is no question
that digital portfolios are a realistic
alternative to standardized testing.
e only question is this: Are we truly
interested in personalizing learning or
are we more interested in comparing
students and measuring schools?
Hong Kong International School
They Don’t Compare
Digital portfolios are all the rage; unfortunately, they are no substitute for
standardized testing. Standardized
testing was developed as an answer to
calls for an objective, norm-referenced
measure of student achievement. I do
not believe that we can create such a
consistent, comparative measure using
digital student portfolios.
New Way Learning Academy
Portfolios Are Far Better
With so much focus on teaching different minds, learning styles, and
abilities, isn’t it our job to teach children to be lifelong learners? Standard-
ized testing won’t do that. It is time that
students collect, re ect, share, and set
their own learning goals while teachers
facilitate the process.
TASIS e American School in England
Cost Is the Problem
Digital portfolios are not a realistic
alternative, primarily because of cost.
In my class, students are required to
compile their “best work” in a portfolio. It takes more than an hour to grade
each student from monitoring to nal
evaluation. Standardized tests require
less time and are easier to grade.
Portfolios Complete the Picture
ere is no alternative to standardized
testing. It assesses a narrow swatch of
information with a limited view of
intelligence. A Web link to a rich digital portfolio along with SAT scores
gives colleges a more complete picture
of an individual.
e Project School
Look At the Research
is debate is another version of the
question: Which is better research,
qualitative or quantitative? Digital
portfolios and standardized testing
each contribute to what we know
about a student’s performance. Rather
than focusing on either/or, how do we
harness the best attributes of each, in
order to develop a deeper understanding of student performance?
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Teach With Conviction
In the May Point/Counterpoint
column, “Do Students Respect
Intellectual Property?,” I do not
believe the responses answered the
question, but they did point out the
importance of teaching about an
issue. Tammy Morris spoke of the
lack of interest on the part of other
teachers as well as students. Morris
does point out the importance of
modeling and teaching about an issue. On the other hand, Jennifer Ja-nescko wrote how she did teach her
students about copyright laws as well
as holding training for teachers in
her building. With her students she
also reminded them over and over to
ask for permission, expecting them
to follow the law, even if they may
never get caught. e di erence here
is not in the attitude of our students,
but in the convictions of a teacher,
her persistence in teaching how and
why to get permission and expecting
her students to do the right thing.
at is what teaching is about.
Wayne State University