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Landmark Students To Attend Legislative Hearings on High Stakes Testing

Written by Vivian Orlen on 09-22-2003

On Tuesday September 23rd Vivian will accompany a group of senior students to observe a legislative hearing on high stakes testing. There is expected to be a large contingent of students, teachers and academics testifying against the Regents exams before a panel of Senate Education Committee Members.
This is the first in a series of opportunities that will allow performance based assessment schools, like Landmark High School to speak to why we believe in our model of student assessment. Pascual Mejia, a senior in William's advisory wrote the following...

If there is any doubt regarding the impact of

portfolios, then one might like to take a look at my case. I transferred to Landmark High School in my junior year. I didn't have the best G.P.A. and my attendance was less than perfect. Despite this, I was accepted into Landmark. I sincerely believe that if it weren't for portfolios, then I might have either dropped out of school or would have been left back a grade. Landmarkļæ½s portfolio system gives students such as myself, the opportunity to become successful, and to, in fact, thrive academically. Portfolios allow students to think critically, analyze information and provide a scholarly collection of work that demonstrates the different characteristics of the student as an intelligent thinker who is able to see things from several perspectives. This cannot be achieved through exams. An exam is only a paper with a grade on it. A portfolio allows the graduation committee to see the way in which a student thinks. It allows the student to display their ability to learn, to grasp information, recall it, and provide an intelligently, diligently assembled compilation of pieces from various subject areas. The variety of different portfolios is also something that should be acknowledged. The diversity of portfolios drives and motivates the student to look into things they may never have before. Because of portfolios such as the Arts & Media and Autobiographical portfolio, students are able to actually sit down and reflect about themselves and society and the world around them.

-- Pascual Mejia

Age: 17, Senior

On October 15th the next legislative hearing is scheduled and Landmark will be sending student and teacher representation to speak out in favor of Portfolios. Stay tuned for the newspapers....and if anyone from the Landmark community is interested in participating or simply attending a session to see democracy in action talk to your advisor.

This is a real opportunity for our school to fight for our right to continue with our own rigorous assessment model which we believe serves all kinds of students in our school.

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