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.