Formative Assessment in the Classroom: Findings from Three Districts

Client: Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Our formative assessment study, conducted in collaboration with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, is a two-part series. Formative Assessment in the Classroom, the study itself, looks at how teachers use formative assessment every day in their classrooms to answer the perpetual question – how do I know if what I’m doing is really helping my students to learn? Using surveys, classroom observations and interviews, we looked across three districts (Austin, Denver and Metro Nashville) to see what teachers were doing, what kind of support they were getting and what kinds of technology they were using to help them assess student learning in the moment. We found that teachers are using a wide range of classroom strategies to track student learning but need focused support to use them effectively. Formative Assessment in Practice, a companion piece to the report, uses teacher vignettes from actual classrooms to highlight specific examples of how teachers are using these strategies.

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