BCS Uses Performance-Based Assessments
In 2008 BCS joined the NY Performance Standards Consortium, a coalition of 32 successful small high schools in New York State that have a performance assessment system which meets and exceeds NYS Learning Standards. In lieu of high-stakes exams, Consortium schools require a series of assessments in academic subject areas that demand concentrated effort over time and prepare students for the rigor of college work. Research has shown that Consortium students graduate at higher rates than the general population of NYC public schools and have greater success than the national average in college, both in their GPAs and in the rate at which they return to college for a second year (Phi Delta Kappan, January 2007).
BCS uses performance-based and portfolio assessment (PBATs) because the kind of learning such assessment promotes is better preparation for college and the world of work. PBATs require students to demonstrate a wide range of skills: read, reason, write, revise, consider, present and defend their individual work to peers and teachers.
What is a PBAT?
BCS has a Regents waiver. That means that the NYS Board of Regents authorizes our school to graduate students by performance-based assessment. Students must do a minimum of four PBATs (Performance Based Assessment Tasks) in the major subjects (ELA, Social Studies, Math, and Science) during their 11th and 12th grade years. Student performance is evaluated according to a rubric created by the Performance Standards Consortium. A PBAT consists of an extensive, original paper written by the student including a presentation and defense of the paper in front of a panel.
Do I take any Regents exams?
Students are required to take and pass one Regents exam – the ELA Regents. Students take this exam in their 11th grade year. Although 65 is a passing mark for Regents exams, BCS requires students to re-take the ELA Regents until they achieve a 75. A grade of at least a 75 is vital so that they do not need to take remedial English if they go to a CUNY college.
What grades can I get on a PBAT?
Outstanding – 95; Good – 85; Competent – 75; Needs Revision – No Grade/Revise
Is a PBAT easier than a Regents Exam?
No. Definitely not. They require significant instruction and preparation, high-level reading, writing, thinking, revision, and presentation skills. PBATs provide much more rigorous preparation because they match the quality and level of work students are expected to produce in college.
What are the advantages of PBATs?
PBATs and the work that leads up to them prepare you for the tasks students will need to do in college: research, information gathering, application and analysis, presentation, and defense of individual thinking. Many students struggle in college because they cannot manage a college level reading load, cannot write on a college level, and do not feel comfortable expressing themselves in academic discussions. PBATs develop all of these skills and support young adults in being better prepared for college.
Who sits on my PBAT panel?
Students present to a panel typically composed of their PBAT mentor (the teacher who supervised the writing of the PBAT), a teacher whom they have had before, a teacher whom they may not have had before, a support staff member (Guidance Counselor, Scill, Wanda, Alyce, etc.), some of their peers, family members, and/or an outside evaluator (a guest supporter of the school).
What kind of diploma will I get when I graduate?
Students who complete all the PBAT requirements and pass the ELA Regents receive a NYS Regents Diploma, like any other Regents diploma at any other public high school.