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.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.