Many, many K-12 districts have recognized the value of the formative assessment process that provides frequent evidence about learning to adjust instruction to meet the needs of students. Dylan Wiliam in Embedded Formative Assessment provides this definition:
An assessment functions formatively to the extent that evidence about student achievement is elicited, interpreted and used by teachers, learners, or their peers to make decisions about next steps in instruction that are likely to be better or better founded, than the decisions they would have made in the absence of that evidence.” (pg. 43)
- Share how your district planning for the use of the formative assessment process that is used in daily instruction is?
- Share how is your district planning to activate your students as owners of their learning?
We use formative assessments on a regular basis — our district has identified essential standards that are aligned with k-12, and the assessments measure mastery of the standards. They are aligned to Indiana standards, but we are making the transition this year to Common Core. The estimates are either weekly or every other week. The results have been the same either way. The assessment results are tracked, posted as data walls, and discussed with students, so they know what they need to do to be successful.
Last year we had visitors from Sweden, and the Netherlands who were in our buildings and both groups commented on the fact the students, even at the early elementary levels, could explain the data walls and knew what they needed to do in regards to their learning. It has taken four years to get this far, with much more to still do. Unless the curriculum is mapped, you cannot use the data for conventional lesson planning and analysis, which is one of the ways districts have become great, according to the McKinsey study.