So far the suggestions regarding what to do with writing portfolios in the CATS assessment have been polarized. In or out.
Proponents fear (and teachers know) that removing writing portfolios from the assessment will take the instructional focus off this important discipline.
Opponents argue that subjective nature of writing lowers the reliability of the assessment to unacceptable levels.
In my opinion, both are correct.
So what to do?
We can't get rid of the instruction our students need to compete globally, but an increasing number of teachers want to do just that. We can't rely on portfolio scoring because it doesn't discriminate very well between what constitutes good writing and what constitutes very good writing.
But portfolio scoring does discriminate between good writing and bad writing.
So let's change how the portfolios are scored. Let's make the Proficient and Distinguished portfolios = PASS. The Novice and Apprentice portfolios = FAIL.
Then, KDE should recalculate how that factors into the overall accountability system.