Novice, apprentice, proficient, distinguished. Words students in Kentucky have been conditioned to learn when it comes to writing portfolios.
Sheila Thompson is a teacher at Warren Central High School. She says: "In the beginning when we first started writing portfolios, especially for English teachers, was great."
But now the Kentucky Education Association is supporting legislation that could change all that. Teachers and students we spoke to at Warren Central High School are in favor of that.
Thompson says: "They spend so much time re-writing, re-writing, re-writing and then they might say, No I should have chosen another piece."
They say the portfolios have evolved into an entity of their own and they take up too much of students time in English class.
Student, Lindsey Akin says: "To be completely honest they are a good experience, but I think too much emphasis is placed on that. And not on other areas in English class."
Teacher, Kevin Cassidy says: "I cannot say that the portfolio process has been a wonderful thing for Kentucky students. I can't say it's been a horrible thing for Kentucky students. But for what it does change in Senior curriculum I wish it could change or possibly be taken away."
The portfolios gauge students progress in writing throughout the years. They are reviewed in fourth, seventh and twelfth grades. Students we talked to say that makes it difficult...
Student, Wendy King says: "You write so much from the time you are in elementary school you kind of run out of ideas. I know you have a lot of personal experiences. But they keep telling you to keep writing."
Writing portfolios take up a great deal of the overall score schools get on CATS testing. Many schools focus on students reworking their portfolios repeatedly to raise their scores.