Educational assessment is always attempting to learn what a student knows. This is in the nature of assessment. As educators we want to know that the classroom has been an effective environment for learning, and we often refer to tests as methods to determine that effectiveness.
A test is a snapshot in time. It examines student knowledge and performance at a single instance of assessment. On the other hand, we know that students grow and develop, and we know that they grow and develop at different rates.
The child of today will be different tomorrow, and any successful teacher knows that this intellectual, social, and emotional development determines in large part the kinds of behaviors seen any day in the classroom.
A student is more than a test score, or even more than a collection of test scores. A student is a developing and emerging being, and she/he should have every opportunity possible to show work in development. Perhaps we know that students are always in development, and perhaps we should think of their work as always in development.
When a student has a chance to show the work being done in a classroom, she/he can take pride in that work. The essence of a successful portfolio system is that it can show the growth and development of a child over time. There is no better way to measure growth than by showing growth. Portfolios can do this.
Gryphondale wants to help schools and parents show student growth by providing multiple and customized opportunities at portfolio development.