For the first time, all graduating Rhode Island seniors this spring must demonstrate what they've learned, not only by standardized testing, but via two state-mandated performance-based assessments, such as presenting a portfolio of their work spanning all four years of high school or completing a senior project. "It really ramps up the meaning of senior year" and better prepares students for college and work, said English teacher Kevin Blanchard of the performance-based assessment construct.

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