Tough Choices in Designing a Formative Assessment System

This article focuses on the growing number of school districts in the United States that are introducing formative assessment systems to measure student skills in core subjects throughout the year. The article states that the underlying logic is that providing teachers with timely information on student skills enables them to improve instruction and better prepare students to excel on high-stakes, state-mandated tests. The article describes lessons learned from one large urban district’s attempt to implement a formative assessment system. Based on interviews with teachers and administrators, the article highlights the difficult choices educators face in choosing and deciding how to use formative assessments.

Content Comments 

This accessible and timely article describes one school district’s attempt to implement a mathematics formative assessment system. The article utilizes the findings from the qualitative case study to focus on the challenges educators face in choosing and implementing formative assessment. The article may be especially useful to school districts considering or now implementing formative assessment programs. The informative article provides extensive references for resources by experts in formative assessment.