• 81% of Baldwin's 2014 graduates were accepted to college!
  • Our students learn to solve problems & synthesize complex information.
  • Our students take on the roles of scientists, historians, mathematicians, writers & artists.

The James Baldwin School Uses Performance-Based Assessments

James Baldwin is a member of the NY Performance Standards Consortium, a small coalition of high schools in New York State that have a performance assessment system which exceeds NYS Learning Standards. In lieu of high-stakes Regents 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).

James Baldwin 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: to read, reason, write, revise, consider, present and defend their individual work to peers and teachers.

What is a PBAT?

James Baldwin has a Regents waiver.  That means that the NYS Board of Regents authorizes our school to graduate students by completing performance-based assessments. Students must do a minimum of four PBATs in the major subjects (ELA, Social Studies, Math, and Science) during their 11th and 12th grade years.  Student performance is evaluated according to a peer-reviewed rubric created by the Performance Standards Consortium.  A PBAT consists of an extensive, original paper written by the student and includes 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 typically take this exam in 11th grade. Students who have passed the ELA Regents exam prior to enrolling at The James Baldwin School do not have to re-take it. Although 65 is a passing mark for Regents exams, a grade of at least 75 is required to skip remedial English courses within the CUNY college system. 

What grades can I get on a PBAT?

PBATs appear on student transcripts as Pass/Fail.

Is a PBAT easier than a Regents Exam?

No. Definitely not. They require significant instruction and preparation, high-level reading, writing and thinking, lots of revision and high-level 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 taught the PBAT course), another teacher in the discipline, and an outside evaluator (someone who doesn't work at the school who is an expert or who has interest in the discipline).

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.

Learn More About PBATs Here

James Baldwin students are assessed through Performance Based Assessments (PBATs).

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