Tests Teachers Don't Hate?
My colleague Scott Cech has a great story up about the issue of formative assessment, the classroom-based, typically nonstandardized exercises that help teachers adjust their instruction and are not used for summative or high-stakes purposes.
The research on the practice is strong, but most teachers haven't been trained about how to implement it. That's a big obstacle for states and districts that want to benefit from formative assessment.Some experts, as Scott reports, say formative assessment must be seamlessly integrated into instruction, which means that teachers need help constructing assessments that reflect the local curriculum.
So what are the options for doing that on a large scale? I've heard that a few states, such as Louisiana and Kansas, are developing online resources where teachers can download, access, or even post examples of formative assessment. Other districts are using professional-development programs like those offered by the Assessment Training Institute at ETS to get teachers on board.
I'm thinking we'll see more states and districts entertain these ideas in the future.