District-Supported Use of Formative Assessment

The Department of Education believes that the appropriate use of the Formative Assessment Process is essential to helping all students reach their potential and graduate career, college, and community ready.  The Formative Assessment process takes place in all effective classrooms by all effective teachers.  The Formative Assessment Process is aligned with Authentic Practices and may not follow what is traditionally thought to be "assessment." 

The Department has adopted the following definition of Formative Assessment:  “Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes." 

This definition was developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS), Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers Group in October 2006.  The Michigan Department of Education believes that the Formative Assessment Process relies on teacher and student use of assessments that have formative features and are linked to standards.  Implementation of these assessments must include alignment to standards, formative assessment strategies and tools for students, and planned mechanisms for teacher feedback.  Use of assessment evidence requires teachers and students to analyze information from assessments in relation to standards, to offer and use feedback, and to make instructional decisions to guide next steps.  This process of implementation and use is ongoing.  When the Formative Assessment Process is used in this cycle, students learn more, are more motivated, and are able to communicate their learning in more significant ways.  Often effective Formative Assessment tools will take on a variety of formats including but not limited to:

· Observation,

· Questioning,

· Exit Tickets,

· Discussion,

· Kinesthetic Assessment,

· Peer/Self Assessment Strategies.

For more information in formative assessment in Michigan, please visit Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME) or e-mail Vic Bugni or Kim Young.