Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Teachers blamed for portfolio snafu




By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ALEXANDRIA — Improper editing on students' writing portfolios at Campbell County High School has been pinned on the school's English teachers, officials said Monday.

        School officials, however, are still trying to figure out why the errors were made, causing all 325 seniors to have to redo the work.

        “If we can see an intent to be unethical, ... we'll deal with it very severely because of the effect it's had on the entire school,” Principal Stephen Sorrell said.

        Campbell County Police continue to investigate who is responsible for vandalizing the school early Friday. Three days after the seniors were told they would have to reproduce the portfolios, someone spray-painted “portfolio” and other remarks around the school.

        Police have identified suspects but no arrests have been made.

        After a state review team found improper editing on students' work, Mr. Sorrell confiscated the seniors' portfolios. He told the students last week they have to repro duce the portfolios — which some students have worked on since ninth grade — in about seven weeks.
       

Don't help too much
               The writing portfolios, part of the Kentucky Department of Education's testing system, are due in early April.

        School officials are review ing every portfolio and interviewing teachers. All of the school's 96 teachers, including the 11 English teachers, will be trained again Wednesday on proper portfolio guidelines.

        The state has detailed guidelines for what teachers can and cannot do to help students prepare portfolio work.

        The writing is supposed to be students' work, not teachers' revisions. For example, teachers can point out errors on students' papers but they cannot make corrections, such as inserting punctuation or rewriting sentences.

        Portfolios that violate these guidelines are given a score of zero, which can hurt a school's scores in the state's accountability system.

       



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