Frey, N., & Fisher, D. (2009). Using common formative assessments as a source of professional development in an urban American elementary school. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 674- 680.
In this descriptive case study, Frey and Fisher explain how an urban elementary school improved teaching and learning through common formative assessments. The authors present a rational for common formative assessment and highlight how it is part of the instructional cycle. They also describe a conversation among fifth grade teachers regarding English Language Arts standards as well as subsequent meetings where teachers discussed implementation and results including an item analysis. Next, Frey and Fisher describe improvements in students’ academic performance and report that teachers also felt that students learn better after implementing common formative assessments. The authors also found that teachers experienced numerous benefits to practice including improved ability to design effective assessment items, to link assessment with instruction, and to identify students in need of intervention. Frey and Fisher conclude that to improve teaching and student learning, districts should better support teachers’ efforts to develop and implement common formative assessments rather than focusing on high-stakes externally mandated standardized tests.
Action for Learning, Expectations for Data Use, Formative Assessment