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C3/SC3 Support for Instruction & Formative Assessment (Projects Update July 2017)

State education agencies (SEAs) need more strategies and tools to support districts, teachers and school leaders in establishing formative assessment processes in classrooms. By implementing ongoing formative assessment at the classroom level, educators can check for students’ understanding along the way, make timely modifications to instruction and give critical feedback to students for improvement before a final assessment. Students can also assess their own progress toward college and career readiness and initiate their own strategies to bolster academic growth. To address this need, the Central Comprehensive Center (C3), South Central Comprehensive Center (SC3) and Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) continue to support states throughout both regions.

C3, SC3 and CSAI sponsored a two-day professional learning opportunity in January 2016 for over 30 SEA participants. During the meeting, state teams drafted goals and action plans to provide targeted college and career ready standards (CCRS) instruction and formative assessment resources to their districts and schools. Since this meeting, the states below have integrated more formative assessment practices with the support of C3, SC3 and CSAI.

  • Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) work groups received advanced formative assessment professional learning sessions from CSAI content consultants, supported by SC3, in November 2016. OSDE then facilitated educator teams in incorporating formative assessment into curriculum frameworks and model lessons for new English language arts (ELA),OK Math Framework and Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics. In December 2016, SC3’s Literacy TA Coordinator provided professional learning for the ELA curriculum team using a formative assessment lens to review existing model lessons and create new lessons for OSDE’s website. Meanwhile, SC3 coordinators and OSDE’s math team are planning professional learning on formative assessment to support a new statewide mathematics Community of Learners by Fall 2017. Find out more information about how SC3 supports formative assessment in Oklahoma Academic Standards Development here.
  • New Mexico Public Education Department and SC3 supported the American Indian English Learner Research Alliance (AIERA) conference in July 2016, where CSAI presented formative assessment practices using a culturally sensitive approach (additional support will be provided again at the AIERA conference in Summer 2017).
  • Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) staff members and regional professional learning specialists trained educators across the state after C3 and CSAI delivered formative assessment professional learning to over 40 participants in August 2016. In June 2017, regional specialists and district representatives worked, as they had in Summer 2016, with noted formative assessment expert from CSAI Margaret Heritage to further refine their skills in teaching and coaching formative assessment best practices. Find out more information about how C3 supports formative assessment in Kansas here.
  • Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is developing a micro-credential in formative assessment practices through its online professional development system.

C3 and SC3 are currently assisting SEAs in all seven states with formative assessment needs by sponsoring the Formative Assessment Bi-Regional Advisory Board (FAB-RAB). The FAB-RAB is a Community of Learners that shares recommendations on regional resources and discusses common challenges SEAs face in furthering formative assessment best practices within districts and schools. Members are currently planning a series of informative webinars entitled, “Setting the Stage for Formative Assessment." C3 and SC3 will design and deliver each webinar to reach key influencers (SEA staff members, district leadership, school administrators and classroom teachers) in widespread enactment of formative assessment.

C3 and SC3 continue to support SEAs in CCRS implementation through the formative assessment process. The expected long-term outcome includes regional improvement of instructional practices, as demonstrated by student growth toward achievement of CCRS. State leaders can now envision the powerful impact formative assessment practices can have when developing a personalized, well-rounded education for all students.