As a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, we believe that learning cannot be sufficiently demonstrated within the confines of standardized assessments. This means that our students and teachers are challenged daily to read, write, think, share, explore, solve, create, collaborate, present, question, defend, negotiate, compromise, and most importantly, reflect upon themselves as learners.
To demonstrate these skills, Bronx Lab students work towards building a graduation portfolio that includes an analytic essay on literature, a social studies research paper, an extended or original science experiment, and problem-solving at higher levels of mathematics. Beginning in the 9th grade, students present and defend their work to panels made up of teachers, field experts, parents, and community members twice a year through our roundtable presentations. Students continue to demonstrate their learning through roundtables in 10th grade, and move on to graduation-level Performance Based Assessment Tasks (PBATs) in 11th and 12th grade.
What is a Performance Based Assessment Task?
PBATs are long-term projects that allow students to study a topic of their choice in-depth and express and exhibit learning through writing and oral presentation. Unlike standardized tests, PBATs allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in multiple modalities. In addition, a range of topics are available to students, which allows teachers to adjust content sophistication depending on the individual student’s achievement level.
In the preparatory grade-level Gateway projects, students demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have learned and why it matters. In graduation-level PBATs, students demonstrate both deep content knowledge and analytic thinking around their inquiry question of their choice.