As schools and districts work to improve student learning outcomes, demand has grown for information on efforts to promote formative assessment and strategies that support its implementation. Formative assessment has been defined by a national group of education leaders and researchers as an ongoing instructional process rather than a discrete event. Using formative assessment, teachers collect feedback daily and systematically with students to inform adjustments to instruction to help students reach learning goals.
This study examines two state-supported initiatives (in New York and Vermont) that seek to promote this definition of formative assessment. Using publicly available information and interviews with state, district, and school leaders for each initiative, the study examined the primary components of each initiative and strategies that each state has used to support implementation.
• Providing training by well-known experts,
• Providing credible evidence of the benefits of formative assessment,
• Aligning initiative reforms with existing context and concurrent training efforts,
• Providing ongoing training and support at different levels of the system,
• Establishing accountability and monitoring methods for sustaining initiative implementation, and
• Building independent state and district capacity to sustain and spread teacher training.