At our fifth meeting, committee members had the opportunity to view two samples of teachers' submissions for the portfolio exercises required for board certification in the area of adolescence and young adulthood English language arts. We reviewed both the written and videotaped materials submitted by the two teachers. To protect the teachers' privacy, we viewed these materials under secure conditions, with each teacher's identity, as well as any information that would reveal the identity of the students' obscured. The presentation was intended to help us understand the certifica- tion process for candidates, the scoring, and the nature of the assessment.
Despite the information we had already reviewed about the assessment and the standards, we were struck by the richness of what was captured in the videos. Reading about the portfolio exercises and the way they are scored had not fully conveyed to us the kind of information that could be learned from the videos. Readers who have had the opportunity to view videos of teachers in action, perhaps in the context of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, may appreciate how informative they can be. Several aspects of the national board video portfolio process are worth highlighting.