Student Portfolios & SB149

Senate Bill 149: An act relating to alternative methods for satisfying certain public high school graduation requirements, including the use of individual graduation committees.

Within the context of this law, a student’s individual graduation committee established under this section shall recommend additional requirements by which the student may qualify to graduate, including:

(1)  additional remediation; and

(2)  for each end-of-course assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily:

(A)  the completion of a project related to the subject area of the course that demonstrates proficiency in the subject area; or

(B)  the preparation of a portfolio of work samples in the subject area of the course, including work samples from the course that demonstrate proficiency in the subject area.

So, how do we apply what we know about Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas to this requirement of a project or portfolio for our students with an individual graduation committee?

Within Article III: Assessment for Learning, we know one premise reads:

III.d Assessment should be continuous and comprehensive, using multiple tools, rubrics, and processes, and incorporate teacher judgments about student work and performance as well as the judgment of others, when needed.

This means: Students have access to and use digital technologies to archive and document learning and work products (such as in the form of an electronic portfolio) and this archive is used to assist teachers in evaluating learning, planning for instruction, improving curriculum, meeting student individual learning needs, and communicating learning within/across instructional years. (Level IV: High Level Alignment Indicators)

The law goes on to state: … a student may submit to the individual graduation committee coursework previously completed to satisfy a recommended additional requirement.

Therefore, in proactive planning, educators would design learning experiences for the students while they are in the courses for which EOC exams exist and would support the students to archive and document learning during the school year.  Then later, if a specific student were to not achieve a passing score on the EOC exam, then that student would be able to use his/her class portfolio to fulfill the requirement stated above.

In the case of the 2015-2016 school year, however, we may be facing 12th grade students who are receiving accelerated instruction currently in preparation for the May 2016 re-test of the Algebra I EOC, for example. If this is the case and these students were not afforded the opportunity to create a class portfolio years ago when they were first enrolled in Algebra I, then now is the time to create a structure or checklist for these students in order to support the individual graduation committee decisions and the students’ preparedness to demonstrate proficiency in the subject area.

Example draft versions of such project and portfolio checklists are below.  Click the link to the document to view a full-size PDF of each.

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Link to Document
Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 8.58.28 PM
Link to Document

Possible digital tools for students to use a platform for their portfolio include, but are not limited to:

Individual districts and campuses should determine the platform that is best for their students.

Resources to support implementation of SB 149 from various Regional Education Service Centers are linked below.


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