Briefly describes the Vermont experience with portfolio assessment, and summarizes the findings of the RAND evaluation of the program. The Vermont program has been largely unsuccessful so far in meeting its goal of providing high-quality data about student performance. It has, however, shown promising effects on instruction and modest improvement in measurement quality in mathematics. The basic lesson to be drawn from Vermont's experience is the need for modest expectations, patience, and ongoing evaluation in the nation's experimentation with innovative large-scale performance assessments as a tool of educational reform.
Originally published in: Education Measurement : Issues and Practice, v. 13, no. 3, Fall 1994, pp. 5-16.
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